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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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More skin in the game. Bare shoulders in Utah continue to draw attention ...

One new case. And a lot more commentary on that older one.

Reporter booted from court for bare shoulders — Andrew Howell | Ogden Standard-Examiner

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"Apparently, a security guard at Ogden’s 2nd District Court is either a Wasatch High graduate, or a former administrator at the school. ...

" ... On Tuesday, new justice reporter Morgan Briesmaster went to court to cover a case along with fellow reporter Ben Lockhart. As they proceeded through security, Morgan was told that she wouldn’t be allowed in the courtroom wearing a sleeveless top.

"Now, she wasn’t wearing a halter top or bikini piece. As you can see from the accompanying photo, she was wearing a nice sleeveless blouse that many professional women wear on a hot summer’s day. This would be proper attire anywhere, except, I guess, at Wasatch High and Ogden’s 2nd District Court. ..."

Wasatch educators will learn from their shaming — Karen Schwartz-Clover | For The Salt Lake Tribune

" ‘Don’t go shopping showing any cleavage!’ I read in an email from my dad. He continued, ‘The Heber City seniors’ doctored yearbook photos are worldwide news.’ My dad lives in Tasmania, an island state of Australia that is literally on the other side of the world. What I had experienced for the three years I worked in Heber City at the Wasatch School District had gone global! ...

" ... However, I have hope! Heber City is the fourth largest growing small town in America and has grown in population by 55 percent in the past 10 years. The locals have had to adjust quickly. The school district has made great efforts to address the needs of their growing English language learners. Their tactics to improve literacy are innovative. They instituted an anti-bullying campaign. Now, the final frontier is to understand that reprimanding girls who are wearing clothing considered appropriate attire in most of the country or making them march around in special sweat suits is bullying. I know they will change because, ultimately, these are educators who care about students. And, after they drew on someone else’s work, they apologized."

Dress codes necessary, but don’t alter yearbook photos — Kathy Archer | For The Logan Herald Journal

" ... My problem, you see, is that I think the whole purpose of a yearbook is to have a memory book of us, just the way we were. I’d be livid if someone were to go into my senior yearbook and get rid of my beehive-shaped blonde up-do, with big barrel curls. And I won’t even go into details about the expectation in my era that every senior girl would pull down her bra straps to be photographed in a fake fur shawl that bared just a bit of her shoulders. The senior boys just wore suits. ..."

Photoshop modesty — Jay Meehan | The Park Record

"The upside to the recent brouhaha over the seemingly random altering of yearbook photos of female students at Wasatch High School in Heber City is that it once again demonstrates to those on the cusp of adulthood that a quorum of their elders, those in power, often wallow in philosophically shallow waters. ..."

Modesty no excuse for altering yearbook photos — Mark Saal | Ogden Standard Examiner

" ... Well, all I have to say about modesty-gate is this: ‘Where were these people when I really needed them, back in the mid-1970s?’

"Not that I ever dressed immodestly, but I was a skinny, awkward, shy teenager with bad hair, a slight case of acne and a complete lack of social skills. All of which showed up in yearbook pictures. Back then, I could have desperately used some Photoshop love to make my cherished school memories look a bit more like ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ and a lot less like ‘Revenge of the Nerds’ ..."

The right to bare arms — Amy Roberts | The Park Record

" ... Women are constantly bombarded with messages our bodies aren’t okay just the way they are. On TV, online, on billboards. Every single place we look. You can’t even check out at the grocery store without be screamed at by magazine covers claiming we are too fat, too thin, not sexy enough, too sexy, we can drop 5 pounds by next week by eating this, have a flat belly by tomorrow if we sleep on our heads and we can get bigger boobs by reciting the word ‘apple’ twenty times a day. It’s exhausting.

"A public school should provide an escape from these unrealistic standards and should not endorse the not-so-subtle message that women (in this case teenage girls) should be embarrassed for having the nerve to show their collarbones. ..."


Don’t punish young women for being what they are — George Pyle | The Salt Lake Tribune

" ... Note to all educators: If any of you are still running your high school yearbooks as a journalism training program, rather than just as a PR puff piece, you should know that pulling a reality-bending stunt like this at a newspaper will get you fired faster than you can say ‘Adobe Photoshop’."

Nothing more humbling than a goofy yearbook photo — Robert Kirby | The Salt Lake Tribune

Baring it all! Confessions of a former high school senior — Ann Cannon | The Salt Lake Tribune

Modesty and shaming at school — Trib Talk

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