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School Board Approves Code of Conduct, Axes Some Proposed Photography Restrictions

Language that would have required elementary and secondary students to get permission before snapping a photo at school was removed before the 2012-13 code of conduct was approved.

A proposed rule that would tighten restrictions on students’ camera use on school property was scrapped by the school board for the time being.

The board approved the 2012-13 elementary and secondary student code of conduct during its April 17 meeting, minus two sentences:

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.

The approved code of conduct does include a provision that states the use of cameras is prohibited in specific areas, such as locker rooms, restrooms and clinics, however the board agreed that requiring students to obtain permission before taking photographs or video in other areas reached beyond what could be enforced by the district.

“We haven’t explored all the consequences of having this language in the code of conduct," board member Cynthia Armstrong said. “It’s just our culture now to take a lot of pictures. It is something that would be very difficult, if not impossible to enforce or monitor.

“Just the act of taking the picture itself I don’t think should be monitored,” Armstrong said. What should be focused in is the "appropriate use" of those photos, she added.

There is no policy to back up the provisions requiring students to obtain permissions before taking photos, chairwoman Joanne Hurley said.

Technology is farther along than the school district, reaching into areas that it has yet to examine on a policy making level, Superintendent Heather Fiorentino said. Those policy issues need to be addressed first, she said.

Do you think the board made the right decision here or should it have gone with a stricter policy? Let us know in the comments section.

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Also during Tuesday's meeting, the board approved requests to increase enrollment caps for five charter schools: Academy at the Farm, Athenian Academy of Pasco, Countryside Montessori, Dayspring Academy and Imagine School at Land O’ Lakes.

Imagine will see the largest hike, with an approved request to take its maximum enrollment from 584 students up to 654. That school recently moved into a permanent location on Sunlake Boulevard across from Rushe Middle School and Sunlake High. The new building can serve up to 772 students, according to a school board document.

Sherri Lonon April 18, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Do you think kids should have to ask permission before they snap a photo on their phones?

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