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Letter: Give parents choice on publicity

Published: Saturday, May 18, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

When did it become so important for schools to be able to publish student accomplishments that include names and photos? What do they gain?

Sure, it’s fun for the child and the parents sometimes, but not every parent wants this and they should have the option to decline. Parents have various reasons for wanting to protect a child’s privacy.

Why then is Hiawatha using manipulative tactics to get parents to sign off on the “Authorization for Publication” clause of the yearly registration process?

Hiawatha has recently decided to equate a photo in a public newspaper with a photo in a student yearbook.

In other words, if parents don’t allow the school to have freedom of publication, their children’s photos will be omitted from the yearbook. Really Hiawatha? Exactly what is the payoff for the school that would entice you to use such maneuvering

After searching similar policies throughout the country, I have yet to find one that disallows yearbook photos for parents who don’t sign. In fact, most of them offer parents some options as to publication pertaining to video content, newspaper content, the school website or local directories.

Yearbooks are distributed to students. Newspapers are distributed throughout the county and state and online everywhere. Granted, anyone who wants to peruse the student yearbook for whatever reason could probably get their hands on one, but it’s far different than buying one with a cup of coffee or picking one up off the driveway.

I’d like to encourage Hiawatha parents to not sign off on that portion of the registration process. You don’t know who out there is looking to learn more about your child. Let’s not make it easy for them. At the same time, your child shouldn’t be denied the right to be included in his or her own annual school yearbook.

Marian Collins


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