Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Utah hot topics: Fireworks, Days of '47 parade and yearbook photos

Published: Sunday, June 8 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

Students in Wasatch County are complaining that yearbook editors manipulated photos to remove tattoos and cover bare shoulders. However, news reports indicate the alterations and adherence to the dress code were not consistent. Is this a last stand in the culture wars or a hopeless gesture?

Pignanelli: Apparently, altering yearbook photos occurs throughout the state. This begs the question: have school administrators watched basic network television in the last five years? What passes for "safe" primetime viewing is more shocking than bare shoulders and tattoos. This front in the culture war ended long ago.

Webb: Nothing wrong with reasonable dress standards if they are applied consistently, and students and parents are fully aware of the rules, including for yearbook photos. But altering photos seems draconian, especially if it isn’t done skillfully and tastefully. Better to ask the students to come back later wearing appropriate clothing for a reshoot. If these things are handled arbitrarily or inconsistently, students and parents have a legitimate complaint.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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