Liability if Teachers Publish Pictures of Students in School?

I am creating a Ning network for our professional development organization based at a university. The Ning is by invitation only. Any member can invite others and are told to invite only adult educators. The site is about sharing effective practice. It is normal that teachers want to post photos showing successful classroom activities. Our Ning has the organizations name and logo on it.

Who is actually legally responsible in the unlikely event a parent is upset that a student photo is posted on our Ning? Is it the Ning company, the teacher? or my organization?

Should I, as the admin prohibit all student photos?
Say student photos can only be posted if they fax a permission slip?
Say they should follow their district policy and that they, not our org is liable?

Currently I have told members to only post images of other people if they have permission, but I am not asking for documentation. I think that having the network closed to general web access helps, but don't want this to backfire later.

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I would draft a new permission slip to parents explaining everything, then inform the educators part of the Ning to only use photos of students that have a signed permission slip. Legally a signed permission slip is the only thing that would stand up in court.
Agree with Cory. Recently a magazine article was done on my classroom/program. Even though each student had a photo release on file the photographer took great photos from the back---so kids faces aren't shown. You can definately see what's going on but no faces.

At the beginning of the year we get permission slips signed to cover all options--publish student work online (many don't know you can't publish student work for kids under 18 without parent permission), publish student photo or likeness, email addresses, permission to blog, photo release to news media, penpals. Then we don't have to think about it.
Thank you for the replies. The statements confirm my understanding of what a teacher's responsibility is before publishing a student's picture. However, social networking sites such mine which were created by a staff member with the organization's name, raise the question one level higher. Does the responsibility for having the release fall with the teacher and end there or does the organization that maintains the Ning network need to have the releases on file. Of course the answer I want to hear is that the person posting the picture is responsible to obtain the release. Because of the client base of a Ning, in our case is spread all across a state, it will be somewhat hard to manage if I feel I have to have them send the release for every student in a picture. For now, I'll just say no recognizable images of students should be published. Thanks again for brain storming this issue with me.



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