Sunday, August 21, 2011

How do you feel about posting student pictures online with full names included?

As I've been trying to catch up on everyone's fabulous blogs over the last few days, I've seen an increasing number of teachers posting photos of students with the child's full name included. As a teacher, I completely get how we want to show off our students and how proud we are of each of them. Plus, we do some pretty amazing things with our students. :) However, as a parent, it scares me to think predators could be looking at these photos and have all the information they need to find and lure our kids into a potentially dangerous situation. In the last few years, we quit putting name tags on our students during field trips for this very reason. When an adult knows a child's full name, a child might be more inclined to associate trust with identification.

Our school includes FERPA information in the student handbook and part of the federal law states that we can publish/print directory information without consent of the parent. However, the school has to make the FERPA information available to the families and give them a reasonable amount of time to request not to have their child's information included in directory information (i.e. name, address, grade, parents, etc.).

Many of us include our own names (full, first or last), our school, state, city and the grade we teach somewhere on our blogs. If we add a picture of a child with his/her first and last name and we've basically given someone all the information they need to find the child. I know there can be privacy issues with non-custodial parents, as well. In Kindergarten, we take an insane amount of pictures and include them on newsletters, online, on picture CD's at the end of the year, graduation slide shows, programs, etc. We hand out picture permission slips at Open House for parents to grant or deny permission to use their child's picture in print or other media sources.

I urge everyone to be careful about what you are posting in regards to your students and identifying information. Be sure to follow the policies and procedures set forth by your school district. 

How do you feel about posting pictures online with full student names? Does your school have a policy that you have to follow? Do you agree with it or disagree?


  1. Our school policy is name or picture not both.

  2. I can't think of a single reason why we would need to post the full name of a student and I agree that it is a HUGE safety risk. It's similiar to people posting the name of the school they work for or their district on Facebook. Anyone who knows me knows what I do for a living. Often on the web people forget the difference between public and private and everything becomes public.

  3. I only post pictures and video to a password protected class site, and I do not post full names. I use Shutterfly, however I have heard that some use Facebook. I know a lot of people are hesitant about Facebook, but at least only those who are accepted will have access. Great topic. I can't wait to see what others post. Thanks:)

  4. I cannot post any pictures of my classroom, nor my students or their names. Also the parents cannot post any pictures of any function at the school on facebook or any where else on the internet unless it is of their child and their child only.

  5. We are not allowed to post pics of children or use their names.
    Pam@Kindergarten Night Owls

  6. Our school allows us to post pictures (if the parents sign a permission slip), but man...!!! I just can't do it. I try to keep most of their faces hidden (or cover it with a sticker)

    Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

  7. I only post pictures of my students on my classroom blog for parents, which is kept separate from my other teaching blog. I will post first names, but not last and I always ask for permission from the parents (using a separate form) to post pictures of my kiddos.

    If I do post pictures on my teaching blog, I blur out the kiddos faces. I do not use my full name, nor do I give the name of the city or school where I teach (although if you wanted to I'm sure you could figure out which city I live in as there aren't too many in my state).

    I may password protect my classroom blog in the future, but so far I haven't had any parents who've had problems with it.

    We just need to be careful. Social media is a great tool to connect with people, but sometimes you can be a bit too accessible.

    ✪ Miss W

    Miss W Teaches

  8. We have parents sign a permission to have their pics and name posted, but I just don't feel good about posting the names of children... I can't decide about pics ... I probably will have their faces covered. hmmm... just toooo risky!

  9. Amanda, it is nice that your school at least gives you options.

    Miss N, I agree about how easy it is to forget the difference between public and private.

    Randi, I live in a state that is creating social media laws that affect teacher/student relationships. I post pictures of my students on a password protected site, as well.

    Mrs. Daniels, it is interesting that parents aren't allowed to post pics of other students. Is that hard to enforce?

    Deedee, your school sounds a lot like mine.

    Miss W, it sounds like you are being careful.

    Pam, I have posted pics with parent permission, but haven't included names.

  10. We are not to post any pictures of our students, even with the faces blurred. The district gets a media permission form in case a TV station comes in but other than that there are to be no pictures of kids on the net. With MO new social media law that just passed, I think there will be even more guidelines coming. If you are a teacher in MO, be sure to read the new law.

  11. I agree that using names and faces is just scary! I have 3 kids and I don't want their names and faces just anywhere.

    I've only had 2 kids pictures on my blog and both times I covered their faces.

    We can't be too careful in this day and age! Thanks for bringing this to people's attention.