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Son's teacher asking me to vary privacy preferences

(90 Posts)
DustBunnyFarmer Fri 27-Sep-13 08:58:49

My son's teacher (primary) caught me outside school this morning and initiated conversation about whether I would agree to her posting a video of the whole class made during a recent topic on the school website so all the parents could enjoy it. She said there had been a few other parents who'd signed a 'no photos' clause like us that she'd had to speak to, but I was the only one left

DH and I expressed preference for no photos in school publicity/on web when both of our boys started. There was a reason for this (family issue), but also we guard our online privacy jealously. We don't facebook, twitter or photoshare and have spoken to relatives about plastering pictures of our kids all over their FB account with their full names in the past.

AIBU to think that, if a parent has clearly expressed a view on this, the school - or an isolated teacher in this case - should not be trying to renegotiate and definitely not by tring to guilt 'the last man standing'?

For info, the video would not be posted in a password protected area - it would be on the main website, open for the whole world to see.

Twiddlebum Fri 27-Sep-13 09:39:49

We have opted for no photos etc due to my husbands job (police) I would be really annoyed if they had approached me like that!

MissStrawberry Fri 27-Sep-13 09:39:59

ll31 spectacularly missing the point there hmm.

My previous head made a comment about my dd missing out on something due to my privacy form and it really pissed me off. Most parents say no for very valid and private reasons and the staff need to respect that.

If she said "I just wanted to check if the situation was the same as we would like to do X" then fine but to say you were the last one implying if you say no it spoils it for everyone else was plain wrong and I would be having words.

Asking in public was also a bulling tactic to make you feel you couldn't say no and also gave you no warning of what she was going to ask you.

Just say no and refer her to your form.

jacks365 Fri 27-Sep-13 09:41:05

Yanbu. The school had already asked and you said no this teacher asking again is rude and the way she did it was just putting pressure on you to say yes. I wonder if she told all the parents they were the last ones.

I would make a complaint to the school and reiterate that no means no.

bicyclefish Fri 27-Sep-13 09:48:02

Hi All, first time caller, long time lurker here, so sorry if i say the wrong thing, but I have to agree with the general theme here, YANBU.
If they have the policy in place that parents can opt out of having their childrens images on public view then they have a duty to stick to that.
They obviously had the policy prior to the filming so, as previously mentioned, they should have taken this into account when filming the event.
however, post processing nowadays is not a really tricky affair and it would be relatively easy for someone with a bit of knowhow to "blur" the faces of your DC's, would that be acceptable to you and perhaps a happy medium? Either way, the school should adhere to your wishes. whatever the reasons.

secretscwirrels Fri 27-Sep-13 09:48:43

I agree with pixelating out the opters out. Seems like a fair compromise.

When DC were at primary they had a policy of photos allowed unless any parent objected. It spoilt it for the entire school when one parent exercised that option. My photos of school plays / sports days go up to year 4 and then stop.

Charlesroi Fri 27-Sep-13 09:49:44

I can understand you not wanting a video of your child on the internet, and your reasons are your own business.
I'd probably write to the school mentioning the conversation with the teacher, restating that you wish images to remain private. Just to cover yourself against any 'misunderstandings'.

ConfusedPixie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:21:03

Keep saying no, YANBU. It's not anything to do with her as to why you have said no to begin with. I'd check their policy too, as in the schools that my adopted aunt (aged 10, so it's still ongoing!) has been in, one of them explicitly stated that these children were not to be filmed or photographed at all and the other is "without explicit parent/guardian permission for the event".

treas Fri 27-Sep-13 10:21:09

Really a non-issue. She asked if it was a possibility that they could do it and you are sticking to your view and said no.

If you don't ask you don't get, or in this case ask and don't get. Either way why get annoyed.

ConfusedPixie Fri 27-Sep-13 10:22:51

"When DC were at primary they had a policy of photos allowed unless any parent objected. It spoilt it for the entire school when one parent exercised that option. My photos of school plays / sports days go up to year 4 and then stop."

RE this comment, it could potentially ruin a child's life if you end up photographing them. I'd rather not have any photos of sports day than risk that!

frumpet Fri 27-Sep-13 10:42:53

I dont think there is a problem with a teacher asking you as a one off , although if i were the teacher and knew your thoughts on this issue i would always make sure your child was on the edge of a group photo so they could be photo shopped off , therefore the issue would never arise .

frumpet Fri 27-Sep-13 10:46:06

Sorry i just realised you are talking about a video which of course would be harder to edit . Its a difficult one , because i understand the motivation of the teacher wanting to share the video with other parents and yet on the other hand i can also understand your objections .

VenusDeWillendorf Fri 27-Sep-13 10:53:55

There were quite a few parents who signed "no" to all the photos, videos etc in our local school, but they were heartbroken that their dcs weren't in the team photos, school show videos etc etc.

Maybe the teacher was a bit insensitive, and could have double checked with you in a more serious setting, but I feel that there's no harm double checking with you.

If the parents who signed "no" had been fully aware of their decision on their dcs in the school, I doubt they would have signed "no".

As it was their dcs were made stand to the side, and leave the show video and photo, and not get photographed in the team as their parents had said "no" without fully realising what it entailed for their dcs. <The exclusion was perhaps an ott reaction from the school, but they were obliging the parents' requests in their opinion: the children of course were intensely embarrassed with the fuss>

You could ask that your DC always has his back to the camera, so he's not excluded from the class: this might be the best option for him, rather being branded a freak by his class, for whatever (legitimate) reason you have to keep him undocumented.

Weller Fri 27-Sep-13 10:58:13

I could imagine if the teacher edited the children out and posted the video some parents would complain and be asking why the teacher didn't ask. A bit of a no win situation.

EmmelineGoulden Fri 27-Sep-13 11:01:10

I don't think it's wrong of the teacher to ask over a specific case. But the way she asked (all the others have agreed etc.) was wrong. She should have made it very clear that she understands your default position is no and that whatever your reasons are she respects them but was just wondering if this specific instance would fall outside fo thse reasons.

MrsOakenshield Fri 27-Sep-13 11:09:25

I would ask to see the video. Your child may not be identifiable. If they are, ask if they can be pixellated out. If they can't, then you say no.

Or, just say no.

Sounds like the teacher has gone about this poorly.

Turniptwirl Fri 27-Sep-13 11:45:20

To ask about a specific situation is reasonable. But the way this teacher went about it is awful! Not at the school gates, not telling you "well everyone else has agreed"

There are some people who might allow this type of thing, and others who wouldn't. It depends on why they have refused to allow photos etc of their child. But it can involve child protection issues in done cases, so the school should be more sensitive in how they approach it

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 27-Sep-13 11:50:44

I know in DS' old school the policy was that you were allowed to take photos, videos etc for personal use but not to upload them to facebook.

There was a PTA video made of the nativity play which was available online behind a password-protected wall. I think this is a fair compromise - putting something straight on the web is very different.

DumSpiroSpero Fri 27-Sep-13 11:57:39


I deal with the website, FB page and publicity materials for the large nursery I work at.

When I'm sifting through the ones I want to use I check the files and if permission hasn't been granted I wouldn't dream of approaching those parents.

The ones who have consented get a form to fill in with the photo to be used attach to give specific consent for that particular b photo to be used within a stated context.

If you don't want your child's photo used, tell her and if she pushes I wouldn't hesitate to take it further.

MmmmWhiteWine Fri 27-Sep-13 12:24:48

Would you have been annoyed if your son had been excluded from the activity due to your privacy preferences? We had this issue at our school when someone's child was excluded from a class photo which was to be used for a fundraising calendar. The mum was really annoyed that her child had been "left out" but didn't seem to understand that you can't have it all ways.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 27-Sep-13 13:12:23

There was no need to exclude the child from the activity. (And what is more important, participating in a lesson, in school time, or having film of that activity published?).

If it had been planned better, only certain groups or sections of the activity could have been filmed, or better, all filmed but only the segments with children with prior consent published (then the film of all could still have been shown back to the children in class).

The teacher failed to plan properly and is now trying to guilt the OP into covering for her mistake.

DustBunnyFarmer Fri 27-Sep-13 13:17:58

Thanks for all the thoughtful responses so far. The family issue I alluded to is moot now, as the person concerned died, but the realisation that - once out there - you have no control over the images has stayed with me & also how difficult it is to maintain your privacy in this day & age. The problem with being shanghaied this morning is that equivocated & said I'd have to discuss it with my DH this evening. Personally, once my kids get to the point when they can meaningfully consent about having their image out there (with an understanding of any risks), I'll happily step aside, but at the moment my primary job is to keep them safe and protect their interests.

Also, it annoyed me because the school have absolutely no idea why a person has ticked the box - they could have fled domestic violence, have someone in their family who they are keeping their child away from because that person is a risk but not on the authorities' radar. There wasn't anyone else around when she asked me, but the pressure was still implied by me being the only one & I feel like we made our views clear at the outset. It's a matter of principle for me.

I'll be back later - need to get back to work.

DustBunnyFarmer Fri 27-Sep-13 13:24:51

Incidentally, I'm not part of the tinfoil hat brigade, but there are already companies working on face recognition software that will be able to link images across the web in future, at which point bits of your life that you consider to be separate will be linked up. That has the potential to be far more intrusive. I think a lot of people are quite naive about the way they splash their private lives all over the web.

geekgal Fri 27-Sep-13 13:28:44

Good on you DustBunny, I feel similarly, although I probably would allow something that was password protected. I feel like it's part of my duty of care now that we're in the cyber age! Kids should be able to control their online activities same as adults when they're old enough, before then it seems unfair to take that decision out of their hands.

3birthdaybunnies Fri 27-Sep-13 13:48:21

We don't want our children's school being made public due to dh's job, plus we have an unusual surname. We have agreed to photos but their surname must not be attached to it in any way - we have said can use initial or pseudonym. Agree people are naive about info on the web.

StuntGirl Fri 27-Sep-13 13:54:48

YANBU at all she should not have asked.

I would speak to the head about it, not all guns blazing, but just to ask them to respect the choices you've made. If in future this teacher wants to do a similar video she will have to check which of her students have permission, and ensure she films only those.

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