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Revealing: Insight Offered on Student’s Claim of Forced Public Undressing

Sep 16, 2015 03:03PM ● Published by Rhett Wilkinson

Cory and Ari Roche talk with KSL’s Nkoyo Iyamba about Ari Roche’s claim that she was forced to undress in public. Cory expressed regret that he went to the media about the issue. Photo courtesy Herriman High School. Photo courtesy KSL. Used with permission

By Rhett Wilkinson

South Valley - A student was forced at Herriman High School to take off her shirt in a corner adjacent to the line where other students were waiting to take photos. Her only protection was one woman holding a black velvet in front of her. She had to change in front of a window inside a tech atrium.

Ari Roche, the student, made those claims on Aug. 31, five days after it happened.

Since, Ari’s father Cory expressed regret about seeking attention about the claims, and the style that caused Ari to need to change was determined years ago by a senior class, the South Valley Journal learned.

“First of all, I didn’t want the attention. That was my daughter,” Cory said. “I thought, ‘OK, if this will help you get past what happened, then fine.’ But it seems to me that the media has made it worse and I feel that the message has been received and there has been enough said about it.

“I honestly wish that I had left it alone and just let the school admin say that they were sorry and the (Parent-Teacher-Student-Association) act like nothing happened,” he said. “Because it has been tough for my family. That is why we want it to go away.”  

KSL's Nkoyo Iyamba did a story that was published later on a website called saltlakecitynews.net.

A Jordan School District spokesman said that the window was tinted and that a “whiteboard” was positioned.

The Herriman High PTSA released the following statement: "We followed the instructions we were given, and gave our best effort to provide the girls with a discreet place to change. … we would never, at any time, expect any girl to change in a manner that exposed her to other students in the room.”

The photos were for senior portraits. A senior class years ago decided to go with the off-the-shoulder drape style that made a difference because Ari wore a high-collar shirt, HHS Yearbook Advisor Brent Cox said. Cox oversaw the decision for Lifetouch to do the look, Lifetouch Photography Vice President Kelvin Miller said.

Lifetouch Photography offered the look as one of their services. Roche said that the company and volunteers at the high school, which overwhelmingly comprised PTSA members, forced her to change in the corner. Lifetouch suspended the photographer as of Aug. 31. Miller did not return a request for an update of the photographer’s status with the company.

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