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To picture or not to picture

Most student information systems have the ability to show student photographs when you call up an individual student record. While this is incredibly handy for front office staff, new teachers, etc.
Written by Christopher Dawson, Contributor

Most student information systems have the ability to show student photographs when you call up an individual student record. While this is incredibly handy for front office staff, new teachers, etc., there is concern as to the appropriateness of including such an easy visual identifier in a setting that can also include special education information, medical documentation, and legal issues.

Similarly, there is some concern that, because student information systems are used to make decisions on placement, grading, special education, etc., pictures may introduce prejudice or bias. While we would all like to believe that such is not the case in 2008, the idea of even unconscious bias is not especially far-fetched.

In a post-Columbine world, it would seem to me that security and easy identifiability of students would outweigh such concerns. What do you think?

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