Wasatch High School in Heber City, Utah has drawn the attention of national news agencies after it Photoshopped sleeves and high necklines into some female students’ yearbook photos without telling the students or their parents they were doing so. The school argues the girls did not adhere to dress codes and their photos were too racy to be used in the yearbook, leaving the school no choice but to edit the images before printing. You can listen to the full story here:
While most of the students understand that they did not strictly comply with the dress code, they say they were never told to change their clothing before the shoot, nor were they asked to resubmit images in which they were wearing clothing that was deemed more appropriate by school officials. Instead, they were met with great surprise when the yearbooks were released; they discovered the questionable Photoshopping of additional clothing into their photographs.
The major complaint by the students is the inconsistency with which the school edited images. Where some students had sleeves or higher necklines added to their portraits, other students wearing similar style clothing had nothing done to their portraits. In one case, one student wearing the same shirt as another student had her photo altered while the other student’s portrait was left untouched.
The school apologized publicly to the students regarding the fact that some of the portraits of students in violation of the dress code were edited, while others were not. But the school is standing by its decision to Photoshop the portraits. The school says there was a sign posted during the portrait session informing the students the images may be altered if deemed necessary:
“It was a large enough sign that other people clearly remember seeing it, and certainly it should have gotten their attention that it was a possibility. We only apologize in the sense that we want to be more consistent with what it is we are trying to do,” says superintendent Terry Shoemaker.
The school’s dress code cites tank tops, short cut skirts, shorts, and dresses among other items of clothing as being extreme and does not permit the students to wear such items to school.
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