Journalism Education Association, professional press group call for end to school Internet policies banning use of student names and photos

The country’s oldest national scholastic journalism organization for teachers and advisers adopted an official statement at its November national convention opposing any restriction on legally protected speech on scholastic journalism Web sites and specifically endorsed the use of student names and photos.

According to the statement issued by the Journalism Education Association: “Since commercial print publications have no restrictions on use of names and/or photos, and since JEA believes scholastic publications should also experience similar freedoms, we see no difference in the way the scholastic publications using the Internet should be treated.”

A similar statement was passed about the same time by the National Press Photographers Association, a professional association of over 10,000 photojournalists.

In addition to encouraging sound journalism, the JEA and NPPA statements accurately reflect the law in this area. Despite claims by many school officials, there are no laws prohibiting the use of minors’ names or photos on the Internet where the same material could lawfully be published in a printed publication.