18 June 2010

Photography publishing ban

DCist | Kriston Capps | PG County Schools Ban Cell Phones

The Washington Post's Michael Birnbaum posts an update noting that the Prince George's County school board has approved the area's strictest ban against students using cell phones during school hours. No texting, no twittering, and no phone calls will be allowed on school property "from the first bell of the morning to the last bell of the day."
It took them until 2010 to come up with this policy? I wasn't allowed to have a cell phone (or beeper! remember those?) in school back in the 90s.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the ban: Students may not post photographs taken on PG school campuses to Facebook. The rationale there is lost on me.
Huh? This is lost on me too.

What is it with rulemakers these days and photography? (If you don't know what I mean then please go familiarize yourself with Carlos Miller's fine blog.) I can understand why cops treat cameras like vampires treat holy water, but what's with this general paranoia about photographing public space?  It's like people have regressed to some atavistic belief that cameras steal souls of public buildings.

I know we have built a weird society in which students have only a small fraction of rights, but does this policy hold up in any reasonable way?  Under what grounds do you prevent a student from posting a picture taken in a public building to the internet

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