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Child Protection over Friends Only Facebook Pics

(375 Posts)
HarrietSchulenberg Sat 11-Dec-10 02:07:46

At the nursery Christmas play parents were asked not to put photos on the internet in order to respect the privacy of other parents and children. I take internet security VERY seriously due to my paid work and that of my H, which requires absolute confidentiality. I am also a School Governor.

I put some pictures of my son on Facebook. My photos and profile are accessible only to my Friends, which comprise of a very small group of personal friends and family. The photos did not contain any reference to the school, the children (other than my son's first name), year group or other identifiable information. I never tag photos.

I received a phone call from the Child Protection officer from the School today. My photos had come to their attention and I was formally reminded of the need for internet security.

Through a process of elimination of my Facebook Friends (wasn't hard) I have worked out who is responsible. I am very hurt and surprised that this person has put me in this position, seeing as her own internet security is, at best, lax.

Have I been very stupid, or AIBU to think that I have not breached any child protection measures? I could just have well have printed the pics and shown them round at the school gates.

MrManager Sat 11-Dec-10 02:15:05

Did the photos show other children?

Goblinchild Sat 11-Dec-10 02:37:35

If the photos showed other children, you ignored the request.
It can't be one rule for you and a different rule for others, and as a governor you should be more aware of that than the average parent. So did you see yourself as an special case because you feel you take internet security carefully?
The next step for the school, if they are to ensure the safety of the children, is to ban all photographs and videos. And to ask you to consider the responsibilities of the position you hold a little more carefully.

MrsRhettButler Sat 11-Dec-10 03:00:25

if other children are in the pics then yabu, if not then i am confused as to why anyone would think it an issue tbh

onmyfeet Sat 11-Dec-10 03:01:17

If you don't have permission from the parents of the other children in the photo's, you shouldn't have posted them. You have to blur the children's faces, or crop them out. Or else get permission.
Basically, you totally disregarded the request.

BongoWinslow Sat 11-Dec-10 03:44:38

agree with other posters - whatever the other circumstances, if there are other children in the pictures, then the warning is fair enough.

thiugh if you were my friend I'd have talked to you first rather than dobbing you in

otchayaniye Sat 11-Dec-10 07:39:54

firstly, privacy settings on facebook mean nothing

Secondly, how do you know so much about this person that you know about their Internet security

Thirdly, Presumably you are an adult, what are you doing on facebook?

SixtyFootDoll Sat 11-Dec-10 07:53:31

If there are other children than yours in the photo thenn YABU and rather foolish.

purplewednesday Sat 11-Dec-10 08:08:58

Even if there weren't any other children in the photo there is a point of principle here - you broke a school rule. Would you allow your children to break a school rule if you felt like it? As a governor you should be setting an example. yabu.

Vallhala Sat 11-Dec-10 08:11:07

Out of interest, can anyone tell me what, if anything, the school can do to the OP now she has breached their request?

After all, just playing devil's advocate here, they asked her not to publish photos. They could ask me to swim the channel, but they couldn't do anything but sulk if I refused!

Goblinchild Sat 11-Dec-10 08:13:43

They can ban the taking of photographs at productions, and they can discuss the reason why at a minuted governors meeting. They can also decide whether to ask her to resign or not.

Vallhala Sat 11-Dec-10 08:19:35

Thank you goblinchild. So, outside of a complete ban aimed at all parents and taking action towards the OP wrt her position as a Governor, the answer is that the school can do nothing?

A ban on all photography would be an interesting thing for schools to police if a parent really decided to be funny and ignored it.

Lulumaam Sat 11-Dec-10 08:22:12

depends if it;s just your child in the picutres.

as a goverener i think you need to be beyond reproach with such issues

Myleetlepony Sat 11-Dec-10 08:24:55

"At the nursery Christmas play parents were asked not to put photos on the internet in order to respect the privacy of other parents and children."
"I put some pictures of my son on Facebook. My photos and profile are accessible only to my Friends, which comprise of a very small group of personal friends and family. The photos did not contain any reference to the school, the children (other than my son's first name), year group or other identifiable information"
Based on these two statements, I don't think you have done anything wrong. I would arrange to meet with the CP officer to talk this through, I think they may be exceeding their brief in this respect. You have not breached the privacy of other parents and children in any way and it's entirely your choice where you put photos of your own children.
I wonder if the CP officer had misunderstood something here, and doesn't realise how limited the photos are that you have posted, and how you have restricted access. I certainly don't think you have breached any "rule", and, as a clerk to school governors, I find it hard to see how you could be somehow disciplined based on what you have posted above. I suspect a chat with the CP officer, and the person who you think spoke to them, would resolve this. A school does not have the powers to prevent a parent putting photos of their own child (in isolation and with no reference to the school or other children included) on the internet. And they certainly have no right to give you some sort of formal warning for doing this. Follow it up.

Myleetlepony Sat 11-Dec-10 08:27:52

p.s. School governors are a precious commodity, there tends to be a very limited number of people prepared to put their necks on the line to take on this responsibility. Any of the schools I work with would be reluctant to chuck a governor off the committee unless there was a very good reason.

frasersmummy Sat 11-Dec-10 08:34:40

oh for goodness sake..

yes the school asked you not post pictures on facebook and you went against their wishes but honestly ..

a few pics of your kid in the nativity ..with presumably a few others captured in process -... is not that a big a deal.

so yes you went against the thier requests but no you werent stupid and didnt compromise anyone else's child

misdee Sat 11-Dec-10 08:39:17

blur out the other kids faces using photobucket or something, then repost them.

RustyBear Sat 11-Dec-10 08:39:20

The difference between showing prints at the school gate and putting them on Facebook is that in the former case, no one has a chance to copy them.

If you put up a picture on Facebook, even if it is restricted to your friends, you have no control whatsoever over what happens to it. One of your friends - or anyone who happened to be in the or house- could copy it once it is on the screen and do whatever they liked with it, including putting it on Facebook with no restrictions.

Of course it is improbable your particular photos are going to end up in the hands of someone undesirable, but for the school the main point is presumably that as a Governor you should be seen to be supporting the school in any decisions they make, not giving the impression that you think they don't apply to you.

If you think the head is overreacting by banning photos on FB, why not bring the matter up a the next FGB meeting, rather than simply ignoring the ban?

Whitenapteen Sat 11-Dec-10 08:41:52

frasersmummy How can OP be sure that another child's safety may not have been compromised? There are children in schools who are the subject of protection orders to keep them safe - any exposure may risk their safety. Not sure that I would want that on my conscience.

Goblinchild Sat 11-Dec-10 08:47:14

OP, you need to clarify exactly what was in the photographs you posted.

'a few pics of your kid in the nativity ..with presumably a few others captured in process -... is not that a big a deal.'

Frasersmumy, it is a very big deal for some parents, and that is why the rules exist. It isn't a problem for you as an individual, but the school has to consider all the families that it has.

HerculesPoiroastinOnAnOpenFire Sat 11-Dec-10 08:51:07

The internet is a public place and any pictures you put onto fb become the property of fb. Once you have posted to the internet you can never take it back and any of your friends could take that picture, download it, copy it, repost it elsewhere etc... They may do this with the best of intentions to show someone their nephew/godchild etc... but then this picture could be put up on another profile, shared further etc... This is completely different from showing them round the school gates as you can be sure who you are showing them to.

If your school has said you can take pictures but you can't put them on the internet, they have said this for a reason and you are very naive to have ignored this advice. This sort of thing is why many schools have a blanket ban on taking photos at school events at all.

Longtinsellyjosie Sat 11-Dec-10 08:53:25

I can't tell if you're being unreasonable or not until you tell us whether other children were in the background.

If there are, YABU. You were asked not to do this and you did so anyway. Next year people will be banned from taking pictures, which will be because of this.

ghostgirl Sat 11-Dec-10 08:57:16

Like rustybear said: if you put any picture up on facebook a 'friend' is able to copy it and can do anything with it!

I put very few pictures up on facebook/internet, ones that I wouldnt mind being duplicated everywhere, if that did happen for whatever reason.

Never put pictures of children up unless you have permission, you should have known this.

Also I think photos/filming should be banned in school performances, some parents seem obsessed these days. The school should release a selection of photos for sale and a dvd for a very affordabale price. I feel for the children as it must be awful having all those cameras in your face.

PonceyMcPonce Sat 11-Dec-10 08:57:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Niceguy2 Sat 11-Dec-10 09:00:44

I think as a school governor you should be making waves about the fact that this is child protection gone mad and such moves ruin the enjoyment of school for the majority of parents. The tail should not wag the dog.

I would be finding out if in fact any parents had made a formal request to not put photos on the Internet or if this is just some clipboard nazi dogooder. The same sort who would make kids wear goggles to play conkers.

You've done nothing illegal, you have EVERY right to enjoy the personal photos you've made.

I cannot think of one realistic scenario where putting a photo of a school play with kids in it becomes a risk to said kids. Not without buying into the whole peado's lurk everywhere mentality peddled by the media.

As a school governor I honestly think you'd be doing the majority of parents a favour by standing up for the rights of them to enjoy school plays and not be bogged down with paranoia.

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