As an old millennial, I’ve had to deal with my fair share of teachers policing what I wear to school, often going as so far as to police my body. I thought things would change for the next generation but sadly, it seems like it’s just getting worse. A Florida high school is under fire for editing yearbook photos for actually adding “clothes” to the bodies of its students (mostly—if not all—to those who identify as girls, of course) to cover up skin showing.
NBC News reports that 80 female students at Florida’s Bartram Trail High School discovered their yearbook photos were altered without their permission. According to local outlet The St. Augustine Record, the school’s yearbook coordinator, Anne Irwin, edited the photos after deciding some of the girls’ outfits did not comply with the high school’s dress code. This info came from the school’s district spokeswoman Christina Langston.
Students and parents told the local News4Jax that it made them feel “uncomfortable that that’s what they noticed when they looked at our pictures” (um, yeah) and “it looks really awkward and I was very confused.”
Reporter Ben Ryan said female students feel “embarrassed, ashamed and sexualized” and as a woman, I can’t imagine how they’d feel any other way. The school’s website does say the yearbook must be consistent with the dress code or they “may be digitally adjusted.” Interestingly enough, photos of boys in Speedos were not edited.
Aside from the fact that school dress codes themselves are misogynist and archaic, many of the students say they’ve worn these outfits to school and were never told they violated the policy. This isn’t the first time the school has been in the news, either. News4Jax reported just this past March that 31 girls received dress code violations in one day. There’s now a petition to change the school’s policy. It reads: “The dress code is clearly based on the sexualization of young women and their clothing, especially since many girls are told they are dressed inappropriately or that what they are wearing may be ‘distracting’ to the boys.”