Mandatory Teacher Photos on School Website

Discussion in 'General Education' started by a_teacher_nj, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. a_teacher_nj

    a_teacher_nj New Member

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    Sep 9, 2010

    Hi -

    My school has a new requirement this year in addition the usual teachers must update their websites with homework and contact info. This year we must ALL put up a photo of ourselves. Must be a face shot.

    I am upset that the school is making us do this because I have worked hard to keep photos of myself off the internet (eg - I don't have a facebook etc) so that I can maintain my own privacy. I'm afraid that the students will copy the photos and make mockeries of us in photoshop. In turn, they can either share with friends or post again on the internet. What if they're inappropriate and ruin a reputation?

    Does any one else teach at a school that has this type of requirement? What have the outcomes been? Can you see any benefit in making this mandatory requirement?

    Thanks for your input gang!
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Here is a benefit of it:
    If a parent wants to talk to you, but doesn't know what oyu look like, they can know what you look like.
     
  4. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Our school district automatically puts our school photo on the website each year. I have no problem with it, but then again, my digital footprint is as huge as bigfoot's.
     
  5. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    We have a number of teachers that do this. I don't for the moment, but I used to have a class website with my photo. It was professional, with a shirt/tie, and my school ID visible. I never had any problems.
     
  6. SPECIALEDMAN

    SPECIALEDMAN Companion

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    A lot of schools are doing this and I don’t really see that it’s a big deal.
     
  7. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Haha... funny way to say it.
    I can understand the original TS desire to remain technologically anonymous, but like the others, I (personally) don't see the big deal. I don't understand what you mean by "ruin a reputation" though. I think it's largely a public relations measure.

    Maybe you can see if you can put up a caricature of yourself up (as a replacement)? That way, it's not actually your face (but a cartoon of you), and the liberties taken will be those of an artist. ;)
     
  8. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    You're in a public service position. I could see arguing if you were in a private enterprise but the public ought to know who were are.
     
  9. a_teacher_nj

    a_teacher_nj New Member

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    Let me clarify on the reputation comment --- It is not hard to photoshop someone's head onto a body in a different photo. What if a teacher's head is photoshoped into a picture of a body doing drugs, partying, or even a naked photo. Then this is put up somewhere else online by either a random person or a student. Once information is online, its out there forever. (Check the way back machine if you don't believe me). That could easily jeopardize someone's current job, and certainly make it harder to obtain a new one. I know my current boss takes the time to google future employees.
     
  10. a_teacher_nj

    a_teacher_nj New Member

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    That you Rockguykev - but if they want to know who I am or what I look like, can't they come to school and meet me? I'm not trying to hide who I am and will gladly setup meetings with parents.......I just don't see why it needs to be online.....
     
  11. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    You've got a point there. There are some very clever high school students with lots of free time on their hands that would delight in doing such things with a teacher's photo.

    Yes, the public has to know who we are. They can come to the open house at the school to see us.
     
  12. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    If you are concerned, why not talk to the tech dept at your school that maintains the website. There are programs which prevent someone right clicking and saving the photo. See if they can do something like that and definitely bring up how social networking sites and the internet are a big deal nowadays.
     
  13. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    I used to worry about things like that, but now I'm all over the 'net and don't care at all. Besides, you've got more to fear from a student's cell phone camera than from a professional picture on an official website.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I can understand your concerns. Hopefully your schools IT gurus will make the teacher photos unassailable. Also hopefully, your principal will be astute enough to look at the teacher photos and recognize if your head suddenly appears somewhere odd.

    On the completely bright side, you can choose a photo you find flattering rather than whatever photo the school chooses. I detest my school ID and swap it out with my acting headshot when I can.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I really think that most students have better things to do than photoshop pictures of their teachers. If they are set on doing something like that, they'll find a way even if they can't find a professional picture of you online. For instance they could take a picture or video of you with their cell phone without you ever knowing it.

    I think you're stressing too much over nothing.
     
  16. Kat53

    Kat53 Devotee

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    I had a huge problem with this about five years ago, and specifically asked my district not to post pictures of me. This was due to securing my privacy after I sent someone to prison, and didn't want my workplace known, seeing as he lived on the street where I worked. It's not a huge problem for me now, but I completely understand your concerns, and think it's unreasonable that it's a requirement.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    That's exactly what I was thinking. If anyone is going to post "doctored" photos, they can easily take one without anyone knowing.
     
  18. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    I hear ya, teacher nj, and I totally agree with you. I disagree with the statement that, because we're "public" employees, our employer has the right to publish our photos as they please. On the other hand, I understand what others are saying about how we should not make a big deal of it because we are living in times where our digital presence on the web is unavoidable. I do get it, and I am resigned that my photo has to be uploaded whether I like it or not. It's just that I want to have the choice as to whether my digital footprint is large or small. I hate relinquishing that control over my own persona. Does that make sense?
     
  19. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I had my first photo placed on a website in 1995. I've had many, many since then. I've never had a single issue.

    One of our teachers, however, had a student set up a fake MySpace page for one of our teachers. The child got the pictures from the school yearbook.

    Having your picture online/offline doesn't necessarily make you more or less "out there" than the other.
     
  20. hac711

    hac711 Companion

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    I do not feel you have to post a picture of yourself online. What is the point? Parents can see you at back-to-school night, ice cream socials and what-nots. Plus, what happens if someone (not you) had a crazy old roommate or ex and googled you and found out where you worked or whatnot? So many people don't realize what harm it can do to advertise yourself online. I had a friend who had a picture posted on their company's site and an old, crazy ex from HIGH SCHOOL (we are talking a good 15 years here) looked her up on google and started to stalk her and send her things at work and finally showed up at her house and held her hostage for 30 hours. It was all over the news, damaged her and her career and forced her to move. I know this is an extreme case, but it does happen. Maybe your work would allow you to post a picture of your classroom or something to that effect??
     
  21. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    My photo is posted on my district's website each year.

    I have no problem with it.

    BUT...last year's picture was HORRIBLE, so I can't wait 'till my school picture is taken next month to replace last year's hideous picture!!! :eek:
     
  22. Chalk

    Chalk Companion

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    Well I searched for about twenty minutes to find PICS of teachers that have been Photoshoped to look stupid. I didn't find any, maybe someone else can, I think you might be right and this is picture thing is not a big deal.

    Does it irritate anyone else how much personal choice and freedom you give up because you "work for the government"? Why is that TV shows and the news need to have permission of the people around them to show their faces on TV, but public employees simple have to suck it up, when did the constitution get changed from rights for all too rights for all except those who work for the Government?

    Heres and idea, Lets make it so that anyone who works for or with the government has to give up their right to privacy also. Anyone on government Housing, healthcare, wic, foodstamps, unemployment, disability....... why not its that same principal.
     
  23. Southernese

    Southernese Rookie

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    There is nothing you can do to prevent someone from copying an image. You can always push PRT SC and paste whatever is on your screen into MS paint.
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Our school put photos of us online without permission and a teacher quickly expressed her displeasure with that action being taken without asking permission or even telling us. The principal responded kindly saying that he understands and that anyone who doesn't want their photos online could let him know and it would be removed. (Mine isn't online...because I don't have my yearbook picture taken.)
     
  25. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Yeah, just thinking aloud here...if they would let the teachers choose the photos there would be less resistence in many circumstances. I am STUNNED by MANY of my colleagues' photos...it seems like a mean joke! :eek: :lol:
     
  26. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    You should be allowed to sign a waiver stating that you do not want the school to use your image on their site, in print, etc.

    Btw, even if the tech dept put coding in to the site that prevents a person from right clicking and saving, it would be super easy to just take a screen shot. (I'll use a program called Jing to take a screen shot of an image and then modify it with text, etc for learning purposes, so I understand how easy it is)
     
  27. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    If there is serious concern that students would do devious things to the picture, then it is imperative that the principal who is making the request is familiar enough with that photo that any tampering would be recognized as a distortion of the original.
     
  28. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    I'm with you. It's interesting that some teachers are willing to give up privacy etc just because they are public employees. So are firefighters, so are policemen, etc but they still have their rights to privacy and they are not so willing to relinquish it.

    I'm an "internet person" I do nearly everything online, so I'd personally be okay with it. The issue IMO is that it's mandatory. That's the part that wouldn't sit well with me. Exactly how does this benefit children's education? Districts have teachers doing mandatory things that have no benefit or serve no real purpose to improve this struggling education system.
     
  29. bros

    bros Phenom

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    or just hit print screen and put it into paint.

    or right click, view source code, find the link to the image, and download it from there (where there are no click restrictions)
     
  30. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Have you discussed this with your union rep?
     
  31. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    I was thinking the same thing.

    ETA: I am sure your picture is in the yearbook as well. If someone really wanted, they coudl scan the photo and photoshop it that way.
     

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