I was talking about how things have changed since my kids were at school around taking photos and videos of your children in their Christmas Nativity Play, Carol Concert or Christmas Performances on TalkRADIO recently so I thought I’d give you the heads up thanks to TeessideLive.
It’s that time of year when every parent enjoys watching their little ones perform in the school nativity play.
But while many proud parents want to snap away on their cameras to capture the moment, you might want to check the school rules first – some won’t allow it.
So what is the legal position when it comes to videos and photographs of school events? Are schools able to impose a blanket ban?
And if you ignore the school’s policy, what legal action can they take against you? Can you also ask a picture posted on social media featuring your child to be taken down?
Here’s all the answers, from a solicitor at DAS Law.
My child’s school has a photography policy which states that there is a blanket ban on taking photos at the nativity play. Is this legal?
Any owner of private property may restrict the use of photography or video equipment on the premises. If ignored you may be asked to leave and may be deemed to be trespassing if you refuse.
I signed my child’s schools consent form stating I won’t take any photos. What legal ramifications will I face should I choose to ignore the policy?
The consent form is unlikely to be legally enforceable as a contract if there is no financial loss to the school and there are no laws generally against taking photographs of your own or other people’s children as long as the photographs are not deemed ‘indecent’, or are likely to have the effect of harming or harassing the children.
Are there any laws against sharing group shots of my child’s nativity play photos online?
As best practice it is advisable that parents should avoid sharing photographs of children without obtaining prior consent of that child’s parent or guardian.
However, as long as the photographs are not deemed ‘indecent’, or are likely to have the effect of harming or harassing them then there is nothing legally stopping you from doing so.
What legal action can I take against people that share group photos of the school nativity play on social media that include my child without my permission?
You can ask the person to remove the photograph, however if they refuse there is no realistic legal action you can take.
Privacy laws under the Human Rights Act cannot be enforced against other private individuals and unless you own the copyright in the photograph or the image is offensive or indecent then the social media site has no obligation to remove that photo if it is reported to them.
If I blur out other children’s faces can I share school play photos online?
You don’t have to blur out children’s faces in order to share them online, as the Data Protection Act doesn’t apply to photographs taken for private use and which do not identify the child (i.e. name them).
However, if you would be concerned about images of your own child appearing without your permission, blurring out other children’s faces may be a sensible step to take.