Do I need release forms for this example?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by eric, May 16, 2005.

  1. eric

    eric Member

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    Not sure if this is the correct forum but here it goes.

    My wife would like me to take some pictures of her students. They are special ed students. I've had a show before in NYC where I worked with the population but I didn't have release forms. Different story. Long time ago.

    But she's concerned, that I may need to have at least permissions from the parents before I do it. I said sure, you need to ask the parents but teachers are always taking pictures of their students for classroom decoration.

    Should I present her with a standard model release type form or should she just type out a quicky parent form like the kind you sign if you want your kid to go to the zoo or something like that.
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Eric,

    I would call the school admin and find out what their policy is, normally student pictures taken by an outside source does require it and the parents sign a permission slip before the picture taking commences, but again, I would double check to see what the school policies are regarding photographing the students.

    Dave
     
  3. eric

    eric Member

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    Ahhh, yes. This would be a prudent suggestion! Thanks!
     
  4. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    After checking with the school admin, I'd get a standard form parental model release signed by each parent. But, you might get by with just a permission slip - depending on usage. (The language of a standard-form release is pretty scary for those not familiar with them.)
     
  5. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Be very very careful!

    I am speaking with over 30 years of classroom experience, and would like to encourage you, however:

    1. You must meet with the school administration...principal etc. also you will probably have to have district legal approval.

    2. You do not directly approach parents! The school district will have a distinct policy on this and if your project is given approval, they will provide the legal documents to be given for parental approval.

    3. A third very strong caution!

    You are dealing with special ed students!!!.... and another set of criteria on privacy comes into being. Federal mandates and protections are in force...you wife should also approach her immediate supervisor etc.

    4. What is the purpose of the photographs?

    Classroom use for student motivation? or are you planning to hang a show of special ed students!

    Remember dealing with students in a school settiing is not the public.

    5. In most school districts, unauthorized personel are not allowed in the classrooms until checked through administration, that now even includes parents! After 911 even more precautions are being added!

    Please express your intent and the use of the photos to the administration and you will get your answers....If you were to photograph students, hang a show or publish without proper disclosure and permits, your wife's position would be in jeopardy and you and the school district would be subject to suit,

    Now that being said, I would encourage you to procede....and let us know how your project evolves...A good journalistic approach to a special ed classroom is certainly a worth while project.

    I recently was involved in the production of a very positive promotional documentary film of the drama dept of a school here in Las Vegas, using both film and analog "stills" 35 mm and 120 ....even though it was a project for the department and the school administration I had to go through all of the above....there actually were parents who opted out of having their children shown in the film and would not give release!

    Good luck

    Dave in Vegas
     
  6. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    And Eric one more thing,

    God Bless your dedicated wife, she is very special and very needed.

    Dave
    In Vegas
     
  7. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Eric,

    sorry I am rambling here but you have a good project! One spin on it that I do not think you would have a problem with is.....

    give those plastic cameras to the children!

    Lesson plans for documentary, every day life in the classroom, composition, still life in the class room, let them take them home and tell their story and write about it, you and your wife co ordinate it. you do the development, and some big prints etc....you can come in as an approved visiting lecturer....

    Your wife can work it into her lesson plans and goals and objectives under Self Esteem and writing, compostion....whatever

    I can assurre you, that one will fly,

    Dave
    in Vegas