Can we publish photos of crowded hallways at our school during COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: As students and teachers return to school during the COVID19 pandemic, can we take and publish news photos of students/teachers — masked or unmasked — walking in a crowded school hallway?A: Yes. It is long-established law that… Continue reading Can we publish photos of crowded hallways at our school during COVID-19?

Can we run a column about a student’s experience being tested for COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: One of my classmates, a high school junior, has written a column about being tested for COVID-19. It’s well-written and informative. She talked it over with her parents and wants to use her name. Are there… Continue reading Can we run a column about a student’s experience being tested for COVID-19?

Does HIPAA limit my ability to report on COVID-19 cases?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: I’m being told the federal HIPAA law limits my ability to report on COVID-19 cases. Is this true?A: No. While HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) may limit the information a medical provider can provide… Continue reading Does HIPAA limit my ability to report on COVID-19 cases?

Privacy Law Presentation

The law recognizes that everyone has — under certain circumstances — a legal right to simply be left alone. It provides that there are certain subjects, certain places and certain actions that are nobody else’s business. On the other side, however, the law also recognizes that at some point a person’s right to privacy can… Continue reading Privacy Law Presentation

Can (and should) we publish the name of a student who tested positive for COVID-19?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Recently, we had a student at our school test positive for COVID-19. He lived in an on-campus dorm and rumors are starting to fly, many of them inaccurate. He has not gone public, but we have… Continue reading Can (and should) we publish the name of a student who tested positive for COVID-19?

Can school officials search my personal social media accounts?

Every week, Student Press Law Center attorneys answer a frequently asked question about student media law in “Ask SPLC.” Q: Are school officials allowed to search for and look at my personal (non-school-affiliated) social media accounts without my permission? A: Yes. Once you post something online it’s pretty much fair game for anyone (school officials, current or… Continue reading Can school officials search my personal social media accounts?

When schools misused privacy laws, these student journalists fought back

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FERPA is a hassle. Schools constantly misuse it. Student journalists are consistently frustrated by it. So we spoke to four current and former student journalists about how they fought their school on FERPA misuse, and how you can too. Transcript: Joe Severino: When student journalists want to dig deeper into what’s happening behind the scenes… Continue reading When schools misused privacy laws, these student journalists fought back

How student journalists fought FERPA, and how you can too

Chandler Boese / The Daily Kansan

If you’ve ever requested documents from your school through open records law and been denied or had substantial information redacted, there’s a good chance you’ve dealt with The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA. This privacy law is a common barrier for student journalists looking to dig deeper into what’s happening at their… Continue reading How student journalists fought FERPA, and how you can too

Can we use photos of students on our school’s “do not picture” list?

Q: Our school has a group of students on a “do not picture” list because parents did not approve photo releases. Does our publication have to cut out any photographs these students may appear in?  A: Legally, the answer is probably no. The “do not picture list” applies to official publications of the school, and the… Continue reading Can we use photos of students on our school’s “do not picture” list?

Ask SPLC: Can we publish a photo of school employees smoking outside the lunchroom?

Q: One of my photographers took a photo of some school employees smoking outside the school lunchroom. Can we publish the photo or would that be invading their privacy? A: School employees have much the same privacy rights as anyone else. There are certain places (bathrooms, private office, other private spaces not generally accessible to the public,… Continue reading Ask SPLC: Can we publish a photo of school employees smoking outside the lunchroom?