Your Questions, Answered
What is Fair Use?
Fair Use lets you use someone else's creative work without getting permission. But it's not as easy as it sounds! There are four factors to work through to tell if something is fair useSee our response
Can we use pictures of celebrities to make a look-alike page in our yearbook?See our response
Can a male student get in trouble for wearing a dress to school?
There’s a student at my school who is biologically male, but the other day he wore a dress to school. No one had any issues with it except one teacher who started asking him questions and sent him to the principal. All of the students were confused why this was such a big deal. Can the school really discipline the student for wearing a dress?See our response
Can I get in trouble for making fun of my teacher in a YouTube video?
One night at a friend’s house, we made a music video just joking around and posted it on YouTube. Some of the lyrics make fun of a coach at school. Here are some the lyrics we’re worried about:
Everybody knows he can’t coach for shit
been divorced twice cause he’s a f****in’ prick
It was meant to be a joke and we only showed it to a few people, but a lot of kids at school are starting to see the video and talk about it. Are we going to get in trouble by the school if they find out we made this video?
See our response
Does my article about a special education student violate FERPA?
I teach high school journalism. One of my journalists published a story in the school newspaper about students who serve as mentors to special education students. The article featured a picture of two special education students with quotes about the program and a headline that used the word “disability.” A parent complained about the article, saying it was stigmatizing. Did my journalism student violate FERPA when he published the article with that headline?See our response
Is using the design of a popular board game as a theme for homecoming copyright infringement?
I’m on the homecoming committee for my high school. We want to use designs and graphics from a popular board game, like Monopoly or Candyland, as part of our theme for homecoming. The homecoming floats would probably copy images from the board game. Our faculty advisor told us this might be copyright infringement. What is copyright infringement? Can we use the board game theme?See our response
Can a school make a student take off a hijab to compete in a sporting event?
I run cross country and one of my teammates wears a hijab. One time at a meet, a coach told her that she had to take it off if she wanted to compete. Can a school make her do that?See our response
Can a school censor a student's threatening speech?
In the wake of the recent school shooting, I’ve seen some disturbing posts from a classmate. He keeps talking about how “those kids probably deserved it” and that the shooter “had the right idea.” He claims that he’s just joking and it’s free speech anyway. But I’m not the only one feeling scared about the things he saying. Can the school do anything about it?See our response
How do I get a copyright? Do I have to register with the U.S. Copyright Office?
How do I get a copyright? Do I have to register with the U.S. Copyright Office?See our response
I want to file a FOIA request, but I don't know how. Any advice?
So, you want to access public information and plan to use a FOIA request to get what you’re looking for, but don’t know all the requirements.See our response
How do I know if my school's newspaper is a limited public forum?
If your school's paper is a limited public forum, your principal may not be able to censor what is published in the paper. We've got a list of factors to help you figure if your school's newspaper as a limited public forum.See our response