News Media Interviews and Photography (Film and Videotape) (820.200)

Interviews, filming, or videotaping on district property may not occur without prior approval from the building administrator or department head and the Media Relations Department. Approval may be in the form of an e- mail.

Requests for interviews are generally granted if the individual from whom the interview is being sought agrees to participate. If the individual does not wish to be interviewed or photographed, he or she may decline; however, the individual or the building administrator should notify the Media Relations Department.

Filming, videotaping, and photographing children in classrooms, on campus, or in school-sponsored events are allowed for noninstructional purposes, provided that there is a signed parental consent form or release form for each child who participates in such activities (the media form is available here). Signed parental consent forms must be in the school files and accessible upon request. General images of children in which no one student is identifiable do not require parental permission forms. In addition, the filming, videotaping, and photographing of children for classroom instructional purposes or for a purpose related to a cocurricular or extracurricular activity do not require parental permission forms. These provisions are in accordance with the Texas Education Code, Title 2—Chapter 26, Section 26.009, Consent Required for Certain Activities.

District personnel must adhere to the following general guidelines when working with the news media:

  • The privacy of a student or employee is the foremost concern when working with the news media and must be considered prior to the release of any information.
  • If there is no prior clearance from the Media Relations Department or the SIO, names of students should never be released under any circumstance without prior parental consent or the consent of the student if he or she is 18 years of age or older.
  • Names of victims are not to be released; news media should be referred to the receiving hospital or Police Department for such information.
  • Home addresses and telephone numbers of students, private citizens, and those HISD employees who have restricted home addresses and telephone numbers are not to be released to the media.
  • Media requests for district records shall be submitted in writing and referred to the Media Relations Department. Costs of providing copies of records shall be in accordance with HISD Board Policy and Administrative Procedures.