Education Law Insights

Before You Upload That Student Photo, Ask: What Would FERPA (Have Me) Do?

Posted by EdLaw on May 5, 2016

It’s Springtime in Chicago again, which means you can count on two things–complaints about the lingering cold weather and the Annual Illinois ASBO Conference, which is going on now in Schaumburg, Illinois. I was lucky enough to speak at the conference in Schaumburg yesterday on a couple of topics, one of which was Technology and School Law: Why Ignorance Is Not Bliss. In that talk, the issue of posting student photographs  online led to a lively discussion. As the article “Posting Pictures to a School Website” explains, digital cameras and camera phones allow us to take photos and post them online much faster than ever before. Once there, photographs are there to stay, even if someone tries to erase them, and are simple to locate. So it’s especially important to think (before you post!) whether doing so would violate federal and state student records laws. Here are some of the key takeaways we discussed: