COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 109

May 25, 2007

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Billy K. Cannaday, Jr.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

Use of Student Pictures on websites

 

School divisions traditionally have established policies regarding the use of student pictures and other identifying information in print media, such as local newspapers. Many local newspapers are now available as both print and Web-based media. While schools may grant permission for local newspapers to use student pictures with articles about student activities, schools should be aware that the newspaper may extend this use to electronic versions of the newspapers. Ample evidence suggests that posting student pictures and identifying information on websites is an Internet safety issue and could pose a serious threat to student safety. This memorandum is to advise divisions to review policies on the use of student pictures and identifying information in print and electronic media.

 

In some instances, student pictures and personal informationincluding height, weight, and athletic statisticshave been posted to sites owned and managed by division staff to support activities such as sharing athletic rosters. School divisions are further advised that these types of sites could also pose serious threats to student safety.

 

School divisions should consider these concerns when they revise Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) and develop Internet safety programs. For information on AUP and Internet safety, please refer to the following site: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Technology/OET/internet-safety-guidelines.shtml

 

For questions, contact Dr. Tammy McGraw, director of the Office of Educational Technology, at 804-225-4429 or tammy.mcgraw@doe.virginia.gov.

 

 

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