Appendix B: Videotaping/Photography of Children in Schools

  • The Falmouth School Committee recognizes that the use of media is a valuable technology tool and endorses its established practice in the schools for educational and/or public relations purposes.

    The Falmouth Public Schools will be designated executive producer of all media of children in the schools.

    • Parents/guardians will give permission annually to allow their child to be videotaped or photographed through the use of a parent/guardian form included in the parent/guardian/student handbook, and will also be available in each school office. Records of all completed forms will be retained in the school office in which the student attends in order to be made available to staff, approved video producers, and/or photographers.

    Parent/guardian permission for videotaping and photography is not required for:

    • Events, such as awards assemblies, plays, concerts, athletic contests or similar events, with an expected public audience.

    • Use by school officials with a legitimate educational interest or where the work meets other exceptions to Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) disclosure rules and is performed with the explicit knowledge and permission of students.

    • Use by school officials where it is done as a direct consequence of security procedures implemented with the express knowledge and approval of the S

    • In unusual circumstances, such as in the event of fire or accident, the public and/or media shall not be permitted access to the school.

    Public and Private Video Producers / Photographers

    Permission for video producers and/or photographers from outside the school district must be secured from the affected Principal and the teacher(s) involved. The requestor must provide sufficient reason to justify an intrusion into the school's learning activities.

    Before any such permission may be granted, the prospective producer/director must provide the school with a written outline of the intended production and distribution, the production's goals and a description of the treatment, if appropriate, planned to achieve those goals. This outline must be submitted to and approved in writing by the affected Principal or their designee in advance of the start of any school videotaping or photography.

    The Principal or designee will inform the requestor which, if any, students are not to be videotaped or photographed due to the parent’s/guardian’s failure to provide the Permission Form or decision to deny permission. Any approval of a project is conditioned upon the requestor’s commitment to videotape or photograph only those students whose parents/guardians have provided permission for such.

    When such permission is granted, a designated liaison will be established by the Principal or designee, and this liaison will establish necessary contacts and participate in the project as the District’s representative.

    A label will appear on all approved videos that will state “This video is approved by the District for public viewing in accordance with District protocol. Any use of this film will be by approval of the principal only.” As part of the project's permanent documentation, the producer will make available one (1) physical or electronic copy of the finished production to the District.

    School Personnel

    Staff members who plan activities that may include their videotaping or photographing of students will adhere to all district policies and guidelines in regard to posting of student media. Video or photographs of students prepared by staff or students which include students whose parents/guardians have not provided permission may not be shown outside of school and may only be shown to school officials with a legitimate educational interest or others for whom consent is not required by FERPA and School Committee Policy.