ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Bartram Trail High School’s altered yearbook photos have been seen around the world since they first emerged last week.
Many St Johns County parents say, though it seems like the story is about botched yearbook photos, it goes much deeper than that.
“We are battling a larger battle here, not just a yearbook battle,” said Taryn O’Keefe, whose two step-daughters’ yearbook photos were altered.
Taryn is one of a few parents leading the charge for change in St. Johns County Schools.
“While this yearbook is an atrocity, we want to make sure the core issue is addressed,” Taryn O’Keefe said.
The issue Taryn is referring to is the district’s dress code.
“We can’t hide it anymore it continues to be oppressive to the female students in St. Johns County,” Taryn said.
Taryn’s husband, Kevin O’Keefe, said his daughters are more affected by the dress code than boys.
“I see it every morning,” Kevin said. “The two of them running around just trying to find something to wear.”
There are separate sections for girls and boys in the district’s dress code.
Taryn points out the girls' dress code uses the terms “modest” and “not revealing or distracting.”
“Those are very subjective terms and leaves wide interpretation,” Taryn said.
Taryn said parents have written the school board hundreds of emails for months calling for change, with very few answers.
Tomorrow, they’re planning to attend the school board workshop to make their voices heard.
“Since the girls have been in school, we always thought it was an issue,” Kevin said. “But it finally came to a head.”
The O’Keefe’s said they hope this viral yearbook photo fiasco will set their argument over the edge to get something accomplished.
Tuesday’s school board workshop will start at 9 a.m.