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Posting a Picture or Video of Your Kid on Facebook? Think Again

The Summit Board of Education is considering prohibiting the posting of photos and videos of district students on the Internet.

Want to post that video of your child doing X, Y or Z on Facebook? YouTube? Flickr? The Summit Board of Education may soon prohibit it.

Superintendent Dr. Nathan Parker said the board is considering changes to the district's "Public Performances By Pupils" policy which would prohibit those in attendance at student performances, athletic contests and other events from posting photos or videos on Internet sites including, but not limited to, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

Parker said the intent behind the policy is to protect the privacy of students.

"When attending events that include student performers/athletes, the Summit Board of Education recognizes that attendees often want to videotape and/or photograph the students," the policy reads. "However, in an effort to respect the privacy concerns of others, the District strongly requests that any video footage and/or still images of other students not be posted online to sites such as Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, etc."

It is unknown at this time how the district would enforce the policy, Parker said, but added it is possible it could require parents to sign a form in the beginning of the school year acknowledging they have been informed of the policy and the district may print the policy on event programs in the future.

"Even though Summit Public Schools strongly requests that attendees respect the privacy of others, families of student performers/athletes must also recognize that the District has no means for preventing attendees from taking such actions," the policy reads. "The Board of Education respectfully requests that any individual taking video or photographs of students ask permission of the students/families before posting online."

But Parker admits the district has no way of enforcing the policy except to say parents should act in good faith.

Parker also said he believed the policy would apply to the media.

The board will take public comments on the proposed policy at its regular meeting June 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the library at Summit High School.

summitmom June 10, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Impossible to enforce such a policy. The Board may ask discretion of those taking photos and videos, and perhaps ask that full names not be used, but ask is all they can do! While it is a good idea to raise awareness of privacy issues, I suggest education over enforcement. The Board should be discussing this with their students as well; kids should be made aware that tagging/naming without permission is a privacy issue with many present and future implications.
Eileen Z. Wolter June 10, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Absolutely absurd. Parents should have common sense and teach their children to use social media wisely but I'd really rather see the BOE using their time to creatively solve overcrowding in our schools and other various real issues that are actually under their purview.
Jeff Hankinson June 10, 2011 at 02:50 PM
For me, this is more of the NANNY STATE where the authorities feel individuals are incapable of protecting themselves. Lets examine the wonderful coverage with pictures and videos available through the Summit Lacrosse organization and the Patch. Why would such a positive type of coverage be deemed inappropriate? There should be a simple disclosure by the Board of Education that they can't control all media and that individuals contact responsible webmasters if they wish their photos removed from the site. I say no to the Nanny State and agree with 'summitmom' that education is better than enforcement.
Bob Bienemann June 10, 2011 at 03:45 PM
You're kidding - Nanny State is being kind. Enjoy the video of Summit lax's big win over Delbarton: http://www.sportsnetamerica.tv/search/node/type%3Aooyala_video%202011%20TOC%20Semis%3A%20Delbarton%20vs.%20Summit
Larry Blasko June 10, 2011 at 06:14 PM
The airheads on the Summit Board of Education should sign up for remedial classes in the U.S. Constitution, with particular concentration on the First Amendment. If this isn't an unconstitutional restriction on free speech, I don't know what is.
Patch Up June 10, 2011 at 06:31 PM
This is above and beyond the scope of anything reasonable, sensible, practical and did I mention constitutional? Who made the BOE, God? Tell the attorney's to let us alone so we can get back to business at hand - education!
John June 10, 2011 at 07:05 PM
While I don't disagree with the comments about "prohibition" being unrealistic and out of the BOE authority, I see proposed language here like "the District strongly requests" and "respectfully requests" and I am not terribly frightened by it. They would be much more effective with educating on the issue as summitmom has pointed out, First Amendment? C'mon.
Tom Ucko June 10, 2011 at 07:32 PM
As long as there are no negative consequences for someone who posts a video or picture of a public event, I supposed this is an easily ignored statement by the BOE. Posting video and pictures to social media sites has become a very important way for family and friends to stay in touch and share. In addition, would the BOE intend this to apply to pictures and video of things like sporting events, graduation ceremonies, etc., posted as part of news reporting on places like Patch? I do hope no one spent much taxpayer supported time developing this policy. Note to the BOE - please focus on truly important issues like educating our kids, getting concessions from the teachers union, and making sure only eligible kids are in our schools.
Michael S. Dzikowski June 16, 2011 at 02:04 PM
Hey BOE PhDs!! R o m e i s b u r n i n g!! How stupid!,,,,really...We're begging ya! Get a grip on reality!

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