COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

 

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 186

November 7, 2003

 

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Photographs for School Yearbooks

 

On April 23, 1999, the Department of Education issued Superintendents Memo #78, Informational, to respond to concerns regarding photographs for school yearbooks. It has come to our attention that there is a need to clarify again when parents or students may submit a photograph taken by a private photographer for use in a school yearbook.

 

As noted in the 1999 Supts. Memo, the Office of the Attorney General issued an opinion on September 15, 1982 regarding this issue. The Attorney General stated that:

 

Your third question involves a students use of his own personal photograph in a yearbook as opposed to one supplied by the commercial photographer under contract with the school. This question is not presented in a specific factual context, therefore, I base my response on two factual assumptions. The first assumption is that yearbook companies have certain specifications regarding the size and quality of photographs and a timetable which must be met if the photograph is to be reproduced properly. The second assumption is that the yearbook company and the photographer are separate commercial entities. With those assumptions stated, I conclude that any photograph meeting the yearbook companys standards tendered by or on behalf of a student should be accepted by the yearbook company regardless of its source.

 

The Attorney Generals Opinion also points out that a yearbook company may have a process that specifies a single source for yearbook photography. According to the opinion, in appropriate circumstances this may be justified. In all other cases, school divisions should accept any photograph which meets the yearbook companys standards submitted by or on behalf of a student.

 

I request that you review your divisions yearbook policies in light of this memo and the attached Attorney Generals opinion, and share this information with the appropriate principals and yearbook advisors. Local school divisions retain the authority to determine appropriate dress for the pictures.

 

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Michelle Parker, policy analyst, at (804) 225-2543 or at mparker@mail.vak12ed.edu.

 

JLD/MJP/cb

 

Attachment

 

/administrators/superintendents_memos/2003/inf186a.pdf