Can Teachers Post Pictures of Students on Social Media
Teachers posting students’ pictures on social media has been debated in various academic circles with guidelines implemented by districts, and educational institutions to protect both teachers and students on this issue.
With more than 74% of Americans over the age of 18, using some form of social media, it’s understandable that teachers fall with this group.
But, while we all have lives outside our professions, certain actions and activities that are considered inappropriate for the title of a teacher can lead to unexpected consequences.
A typical example is a teacher drinking in public or in the presence of a student. Although a teacher drinking is not considered wrong, drinking in the presence of your students could lead to some form of ramification from your academic institution.
Another act that is considered inappropriate by both institutions and parents involves teachers who post pictures and videos of their students on social media.
In some cases, teachers simply post images or videos of a class activity, trip, or something funny that happened in school on their social media profiles with no ulterior motive.
Unfortunately, others post these images on social media simply for likes and followers. With this act continuing to become a problem, most districts, and educational institutions have implemented policies to curb the act.
This article will answer this question and also try to expand on the reasons behind the decision.
Can Teachers Post Images and Videos of Students on Social Media
No. Most districts and educational institutions have policies against teachers posting images and videos of their students on social media, as it constitutes a violation of student privacy.
While some parents like to share images of their children on social media, others have their reservations. Posting a student’s image on social media without the consent of their parents or guardians is a breach of privacy.
Especially in the case of children at the early childhood learning stage, it can become tempting to post a cute picture of a kid or an activity they performed in class.
Unfortunately, this innocent act, without the consent of a parent, still constitutes a violation of privacy.
Social Media Rules for Teachers
Social media platforms are open to the public with parents, colleagues, and even students accessing them on a daily basis.
With smarter algorithms developed to keep users updated on any new posts and people, they might know, any content posted on your pages easily gets delivered to people in your circle.
It’s advisable to adhere to the following rules as a teacher when using social media.
- Identify your institution or district’s policy on social media for teachers
- Ensure posted images and videos do not include students and don’t tag them in the picture
- Only students who have graduated should friend or follow you on social media
- Images and content posted should be clean (without alcohol, drugs, revealing pictures, or anything inappropriate)
- Don’t post student assignments or anything with their names visible
- Don’t post during school hours
- Identify parents who choose to opt-out of the use of their ward’s image in any campaigns
- Never complain about your school on social media especially if you’re followed by your institution on the platform
Always remember that while the school or the district may post an image of a student on their website, teachers should refrain from such action on their personal social media pages unless explicitly told to do so by the educational institution with the consent of parents.
Keep in mind that it’s not rare for school districts to post images and videos on social media to promote students’ achievements and upcoming activities.
However, parents in this instance are given clear notice and their consent before these images are used in these promotions.
Why Teachers Shouldn’t Post Student Images on Social Media
Schools and some districts have strict policies around social media for their teaching and non-teaching staff. Posting student images without the explicit consent of the institution constitutes a breach of policy which could lead to consequences for unprofessional conduct.
Although some parents like posting images of their children on social media, others refrain from that exposure. Teachers may acquire the consent of parents to post a student’s image on their social media profile but that comes with a lot of risks.
Posting images or videos of your students on social media can be considered unprofessional conduct. In an age where social media users resort to any means necessary to receive likes, views, and followers, posting images of your students even for an innocent reason could be perceived negatively by colleagues and others.
Can Teachers Be Fired For Posting On Social Media
Yes. Any teacher caught in breach of their school’s policies on social media posting could face disciplinary actions, which could include termination depending on the severity of their actions.
A typical example is a teacher can be fired for using the popular subscription-based social media platform OnlyFans if in breach of the district or school’s policies.
Can Teachers Post Students on Snapchat
No. Posting your students on Snapchat constitutes a breach in most academic institutions and districts’ policies and an invasion of student privacy. Teachers caught in the act can face disciplinary actions as a result.
Is It Illegal To Post Pictures Of Students
Yes. It’s illegal to post a student’s picture without a guardian’s consent or explicitly requested by the educational institution.
It’s advisable to identify your district or school’s policy on this issue or simply refrain from posting student pictures on your social media pages to avoid any negative consequences.
The Bottom Line
Most districts resort to the “nothing identifiable” approach to this issue. This means teachers can take pictures of themselves teaching on social media so long as any individual students in the background cannot be identified by anyone, especially their parents.
That said, it’s worth noting that posting a student’s image without their parent’s permission may be grounds for allegations of unprofessional conduct.