Posting classroom photos of kids

My daughter has a site - - for her writings and native american artwork. Yes we are native american. She has an mfa (textiles) from SF State.

She does a once a week vol thing in a 4th grade class - some times baskets, some times origami, and so on.

The kids want their artwork on her site.

I maintain the site and am cautious about permission from the parents. There is nothing bad in/with the photos, smiling proud kid holding a basket that they made. Tomorrow we will check with the school to see if the permission already exists - which would make this a moot question.

I think it would be good to have it on the site. But the legality?


Where I come from (Australia) schools have to get permission from parents to show photos of their kids on the school website. (It’s a one-off consent form.) Given that this is an independent site, it might be worth getting separate consent for that—just to make sure parents are in the loop. It’s probably not a big issue, in that the kids (presumably?) are not identified on the site. But all the same, if you are worried, it’s best to get genuine legal advice (as you can only get opinions here).

I wouldn’t even consider showing photos of children without explicit, written permission from the parents.

While I think that parents can very often be downright irrational when it comes to this, I would definitely tread lightly. Personally, I wouldn’t have any problem with it as long as there was no obvious identifiable information or names accompanying it. Most schools have policies that either allow or restrict what can be shared from school related events. We’ve seen several threatened lawsuits and parent conflicts in my daughter’s school as a result of photos being shared, even when it was within the school’s guidelines that the parents signed at the beginning of the year.

I have heard of cases where the child’s parents are separated with a cout order preventing one from getting anywhere near the other because of the threat of physical harm and where the parent with custody of the child has moved to prevent their ex from knowing where they are. The display of the child’s photo on the web has then made it possible for their ex to locate and do harm to the person that the court order is supposed to be protecting - in some instances making the person who published the photo an unintentional accessory to murder. The photo doesn’t need to identify the child as the person in this sort of situation already knows what the child looks like - they just don’t know where that child is until your publishing the photo provides that information to them.

It is always best to have the explicit permission of anyone who appears in any photo you publish on the web prior to publishing it (or their parent’s permission in the case of children).

Thanks for the thoughtful replies.

The school has permission slips for all but three. The three denied permission. Which three is uncertain until the teacher returns tomorrow.

I got a rather testy note from my daughter. But that is a lot easier than having a legal issue or worse, something happen to a kid.

Also, I will not post the photos. I looked through the neighborhood paper and even they do not show kids without the parents, regardless of context…

Peace and thanks again for the replies.


This is probably permission for photos on the school site, rather than an external one. Just bear that in mind, anyhow.

I got a rather testy note from my daughter.


I guess you could get creative and not include faces etc. Maybe just show hands holding the artwork etc.

Nah, I’m not going to post them.

The hands holding the work is a good idea. But no.

I would suggest the teacher 'facebook ’ them. And then I could provide a link.

Overview – The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) affects websites that knowingly collect information about children under the age of 13. The COPPA regulations are incredibly complicated – if your web site is available to children under the age of 13 it is my recommendation that you contact a knowledgeable attorney to review your compliance with COPPA.

In reply to your post; you absolutely need written permission from each parent before you can post any information (including unidentified children in a picture) before you may post any information on a child under the age of 13.

Do Not think you will fly under the radar, or be too small to deal with. The government enforces COPPA more actively than any other web related law. For instance, the girl scouts paid a huge fine to the FTC for their violations. Many smaller sites like yours have also gotten into trouble.

Please be careful about posting information without signed, explicit, parental approval!