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Utah school under fire for doctoring student yearbook photos

By Laura Zuckerman

(Reuters) - A high school in Utah has come under fire for editing yearbook pictures to remove tattoos and raise plunging necklines on female students, and it pledged on Thursday to review its policy on digital manipulation.

    Administrators of Wasatch High School in Heber City said pupils whose images were doctored had violated the dress code of the school, which has a student body of 1,700 and is in a community 45 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

    Students were warned last fall when yearbook photos were taken that banned apparel such as tank tops, low-cut tops, certain slogans on shirts and other “inappropriate” attire would be subjected to editing to conform with the school’s dress standards, the school said in a statement.

    School officials conceded that mistakes had been made, although they gave no specific examples. Nor did they say who made the decisions on which photos to edit, and administrators did not return calls seeking comment on that issue.

“In the application of these graphic corrections, the high school yearbook staff did make some errors and were not consistent in how they were applied to student photos, and the school apologizes for that inconsistency,” Wasatch High Principal Shawn Kelly said in the statement.

   The school district will review its practice of editing photos, which mostly applied to female students but also affected male students, administrators said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Dan Grebler)