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Related issues

This section includes information on other issues that principals and school boards need to be aware of.

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Inappropriate content

Principals and trustees are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the content of material used in their school is appropriate for the age of the students.

All commercially available films, videos, and DVDs in New Zealand are classified by the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

Schools must comply with the restricted age ratings and create and enforce a policy about showing 'parental guidance recommended' rated material to students. This policy should specify the level of parental consent that is required for works with different ratings.

Cyber safety

Some websites may not be appropriate for viewing by students of certain ages. Schools need a cybersafety policy to empower students with the skills to use good judgement about viewing websites and what to do when inappropriate material appears on screen or in an e-mail.

For help with cyber safety policies and issues and to obtain Netsafe kits, see the Internet Safety Group website.

Note that the changes proposed to the Copyright Act in 2006 include the legal ability for a school to cache 'appropriate' sites on their server so that only 'good' results of a search will appear for students.

  • To keep up to date with the status of these changes, go to the government's Digital Strategy website for updates on the progress of the draft strategy.

Privacy

Copyright and privacy interact when identifying information about students is shown or published. This is most likely to happen when photographs and videos of students are shown or published.

Written permission

Written permission needs to be obtained from parents and from secondary students for any use of photos and other identifying information about students.

When devising a permission form for the use of student photos and/or videos, include any future planned or possible use the school may wish to make of the material (such as using it in publicity material and on the school website) as well as the immediate planned use, since obtaining permissions retrospectively can be very difficult.

Under the Privacy Act 1993 the school should not release any material that contains personal information about students or employees, without permission from the student's parents or guardians and in the case of secondary students, the students as well.

For more information about privacy, including privacy principles and your rights, top tips for privacy, and how technology can affect your privacy, see the website of the Privacy Commissioner.


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