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Altered yearbook photos latest inconsistency, say students

School officials say the students were warned the images could be edited.

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But in its statement, Wasatch High School said a 4-by-5-foot sign warned students when their pictures were taken last fall that their photos could be edited if their clothing did not meet school dress standards.

"Tank tops, low cut tops, inappropriate slogans on shirts, etc. would not be allowed. If a student violated this policy, the sign told them explicitly that the photos may be edited to correct the violation. The sign was plainly visible to all students who were having their photos taken," the statement said.

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Bobbi Jo Wilkerson-Westergard, Baum’s mother, said she accompanied each of her children for their photo sessions during registration last fall and did not see any warning sign — large or small — about photo editing.

"There wasn’t anything there," Wilkerson-Westergard said. "They could have told them that day, ‘You’re not following dress code.’ Then they could have changed clothes. They could have given other options than editing, which they didn’t learn about until the end of the year."

But Olivia McGinniss, who graduated Wednesday night, said she remembers seeing a sign last fall saying the dress code would be enforced — but did not see a sign the year before.

It wasn’t until last spring, when she opened her yearbook, that she found someone had doctored her photo to add sleeves to her shoulders and a small panel over her chest. No cleavage was showing in the original.

"I was very angry with the school," said McGinniss, a Mormon who believes the school dress code’s requirement that shoulders be covered results from the LDS Church’s particular conception of modesty. "I don’t think their standards should be forced on everyone."

McGinniss said she and her mother both complained, and Kelly apologized and said he would speak to the yearbook staff about being more careful in its editing.

However, since then, McGinniss said, yearbook staffers have told her Kelly "goes through the yearbook and chooses which ones to alter. "

Wilkerson-Westergard questions what she considers a double standard:

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While individual photos are edited, photos of scantily clad volleyball players, cheerleaders and dance team members are left untouched, she said. "There are literally crotches of girls on the dance team," she said.



Twitter: @jm_miller @KristenMoulton

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