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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Want to snap a picture in Pasco schools? Get permission first



We've all seen stories about students who whip out their phones and take photos and videos of some classroom activity that someone -- maybe the teacher or a fellow classmate -- might not want to become public.

Teachers making inappropriate comments, students hitting teachers and others have become YouTube stars, however unwillingly, because of such decisions.

The Pasco school district is looking into rules that could get the kids with the phones in trouble for capturing such incidents without asking permission first. New language proposed for the district student code of conduct reads:

"The use of cameras in any type of electronic device is strictly prohibited in specific areas where privacy or confidentiality may be compromised, including but not limited to locker rooms, restrooms, and clinic. In locations where students are allowed to use electronic devices, students are required to obtain permission before taking a photograph or video of any individual. Students must also obtain permission from any individual appearing in a photograph or video prior to sharing with others or posting on any social networking site or other Internet site such as YouTube."

What do you think? Should activity in public school classrooms be open to public viewing if someone happens to have a camera handy? Does the threat of public exposure offer some sort of hindrance to possible bad actors? Or do people in the classrooms have the expectation of privacy and the right to agree to be recorded, as they do with private conversations?

How might such a policy affect a student who wants to video record a teacher's lecture, when the teacher doesn't want that to happen? If approved, should students then also have the right to say they don't agree to be videotaped by district cameras in schools, buses and parking lots? 

This policy proposal comes to the School Board on Tuesday. We'll let you know if it spurs any conversation.

[Last modified: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 2:29pm]


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