Florida High School Alters Girls' Yearbook Pics to Show Less Skin

"I was very uncomfortable that that's how they were looking at our photos"

Bartram Trail High School

The families of two teenage girls whose photos were altered in their high school yearbook are speaking out.

First-year students Riley O’Keefe and Zoe Iannone are among the minimum of 80 girls whose pictures were photoshopped to show less skin in the yearbook at Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns County, which is near Jacksonville, Florida.

“The initial reaction is to be surprised and shocked, and then as it goes on, you just feel gross and embarrassed and very objectified,” Zoe told TODAY.

The two girls were hardly alone in learning their pictures, which were edited to cover their chests, had been changed.

“I got very upset, and I was very uncomfortable that that's how they were looking at our photos,” Riley said.

Riley’s mother, Stephanie, is equally furious over the photos.

“Immediately, my blood started to boil,” she said.

At least 80 photos — all featuring female students deemed to have violated the dress code — were edited. Riley and Zoe’s mothers said the school did not contact them about the changes prior to the yearbook coming out and were later informed the modifications were done as part of “modesty editing.”

“All images in ads and all individual student pictures must be consistent with the St. Johns County School District Student Code of Conduct or may be digitally adjusted,” reads a message on the school’s website.

The school district outlines in its dress code policy that “personal attire may be in the style of the day, but clothing that is immodest, revealing or distracting in character is unacceptable.”

The school did not reply to NBC News’ request for comment on the matter, although NBC News has been told the school will give refunds to families upset about the pictures.

"Basically, now their body parts are of additional focus and attention that never would've been there in the first place if the school hadn't called attention to it," Zoe's mother, Amanda Emery, said.

“They felt like they'd done something wrong. It felt like their bodies were being shamed, and they were embarrassed,” Riley's mother said.

This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY:

Copyright Today Digital Originals
Contact Us