ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Of the hundreds of yearbooks printed with edited photos of female students, only 25 were requested to be reprinted, according to St. Johns County School District spokesperson Christina Langston.
Of those that requested reprinted versions from printing contractor Herff Jones, only 12 returned their original yearbook, which contained at least 80 photos of female students edited to make them appear more modest.
The reprints come as the district is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
Working off a complaint filed in late March, the OCR launched the probe Monday into whether the SJCSD breached Title IX through the district’s dress code policy and how it was enforced.
“It has historically been hard to challenge dress codes because the courts have said that it’s OK to have sex-differentiated dress codes and long as you’re not burdening one group of students over the other,” explained Naomi Shatz, an attorney and Title IX expert.
The district also formed a special committee to review and recommend how the dress code should be modified and updated. That committee has yet to reschedule its first meeting, which was postposed.
The investigative process could take months.