Restrictions on using student names and pictures? : LUSENET : Grady's school webmasters forum : One Thread

Seems like most school's are very strict about publishing student names and pictures. If you can do it at all, rules require written permission and recordkeepinng.

On the other hand the most frequent question I get is, "Why don't you put pictures on your site?"

Has anyone found a practical way to deal with these restrictions?

-- Terry Kearns (, April 05, 2001


The New York City Board of Education has recently published its Rules for Internet Acceptable Use which is predictable CYA bureaucratic red tape.

It includes this Parental Consent Form for display of not only photos of students but also student work of any kind. I don't think there is any "workaround" to this requirement.

One thing that we plan to do for big events, such as the Science Expo' for example, is make the consent form part of the student's application/proposal. We would then have to keep a file of consent forms on hand in the event of a challenge. Of course, in the event of a challenge we would pull the photo in question from the website anyway -- parents have a right, as far as I'm concerned, to make that decision even if the consent form has been signed. It is also my understanding that the form is general enough that I will only need one consent form to cover any school-related event throughout the year.

Depending on the size of your school it might also be possible to ask teachers at the beginning of the year to have consent forms signed by all students (parents) and then be free to shoot pictures and not worry about it. Of course you then have to remember which students' parents didn't sign the consent form.

Michael Gatton

-- Michael Gatton (, April 05, 2001.

Policys are not consistant. Here is a quote for Atlanta Public Schools:

"A media release form must be on file before the use of any pictures, videos or oral comments in which a student or staff participates. A copy of the signed form must be sent to the department of Operational Technology and Telecommunication (attn: Webmaster). Details of picture locations and picture file names must be added to media release form."

We all want to protect our children but I question the real risk.

In this case whenever you post a picture you have to update the release form. APS doesn't mention requiring releases for student names or student work.

I'm guessing that no such releases are necesary when names or photographs are included in school newspapers. I may be wrong.

Some unofficial school websites that aren't actually hosted on school resources probably don't deal with releases. There are sites for high school marching bands that are bigger than many school sites.

Another school webmaster I talked with published both names and pictures but never on the same page.

We all want to protect our children but I question the real risk.

-- Terry Kearns (, April 05, 2001.

In Fayette County, GA schools we have similar no names policy for our site. We DO put pictures out on our site but they are not accompanied by the students names. Actually one of the more popular features is a student section that has candid photos of school activities.

-- Bill Elder (, April 08, 2001.

What we do is only post distant shots, so none of the students can be reconized. We just prefer to be safe than sorry. Also then we don't need to get involved in the consent forms.

-- Bill Haddock (, April 22, 2001.

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