A school may take photos of its students as part of its directory information policy, but it must notify parents how the school uses the information and to whom it is disclosed, states the U.S. Department of Education. Parents have the right to opt out of directory disclosures in writing.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act sees photographs as identifying information similar to names and addresses, according to the U.S. Department of Education. They are not considered sensitive information or an invasion of privacy.
Other accessible student directory information includes telephone numbers, email addresses, birth date and place, attendance record, grade level, degrees and awards won, extracurricular activities, previous educational institution attended and student ID number, notes the U.S. Department of Education. This information is generally available to school publications, companies that manufacture school products and anyone else who requests it, without consent, unless parents withhold permission.
Educational records such as class schedules, report cards, transcripts and records of disciplinary action are considered private and are not disclosed to others without written parental consent, reports the U.S. Department of Education. Exceptions include school officials, other schools to which the student requests admission, and federal, state and local education authorities. A school is required to show parents a student's educational records, usually 45 days or less after receiving a written request.