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Answered: Privacy

If you reveal personal information about someone without their consent, you could be violating their privacy.

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Question | Privacy

Can I record an interview with my principal, without asking him, if I put the recorder in plain sight, or does it depend on what state I am in?

Can I record an interview with my principal, without asking him, if I put the recorder in plain sight, or does it depend on what state I am in? 

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Question | Privacy

Can the school search our lockers and backpacks to look for drugs? Can they search our lockers and backpacks for no reason?

Students have a privacy right in their personal belongings, such as backpacks, and school officials must have “reasonable suspicion” before searching a student’s items. But lockers are owned by the school, so the school can search those without having “reasonable suspicion.”

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Question | Privacy

Can school administrators take my phone and go through my personal information on my phone?

No, school administrators do not have the right to search a student’s phone if a student is caught using their phone during class, even if that student protests its taking.

 

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Question | Privacy

Can my student newspaper use a student’s name when reporting on sensitive topics, such as abuse or depression?

Can my student newspaper use a student’s name when reporting on sensitive topics, such as abuse or depression?

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Question | Privacy

Can my student organization broadcast a student’s name and photo in one of our productions without that student’s consent?

Can my student organization broadcast a student’s name and photo in one of our productions without that student’s consent?

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Question | Privacy

Can I get in trouble for publishing student quotes in an article when the student and student’s parents sign a release form, but then the parents object to the use of the quotes?

Can I get in trouble for publishing student quotes in an article when the student and student’s parents sign a release form, but then the parents object to the use of the quotes?

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Question | Privacy

Can I publish an article for my school newspaper if a student featured in the article says she doesn’t want to be mentioned?

Can I publish an article for my school newspaper if a student featured in the article says she doesn’t want to be mentioned?

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Question | Privacy

Does reporting on a student's suicide violate privacy?

A family likely cannot get the principal to remove the story due to the legal reason of invasion of privacy. However, as journalists, ethically, you should consider the feelings of the family in your publication, and treat the issue with respect, focusing on the life of the student, rather than their death.

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Question | Privacy

Your Guide to FERPA

FERPA is a law designed to protect the privacy of students. While it seems simple, how and when this law applies can be a little complicated. 

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Question | Privacy

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?

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Question | Privacy

Is using a transgender student's preferred name instead of her given name in a school publication an invasion of privacy?

A student at my school recently announced that he is transgender and wishes to be called “Allen” rather than his given name, “April.” I interviewed him for an article for our school newspaper about the school’s theater club and up-coming school play, using the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘his,’ and Allen’s preferred name. My advisor and other writers on the paper are worried about publishing the article with Allen’s preferred name rather than his given name. Should they be worried? Is there a privacy issue here?

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