Student Photos – use including social media

A plethora of rules exist in general regarding publishing photos of minors, but Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) students have unique situations. Each district is tasked by Rotary International (RI) with developing policies and positions on many aspects of administering their programs, including the use of photos and social media. The District 5160 Youth Exchange Committee manages this under the District Governor’s oversight as well as both Western States Student Exchange Inc (WESSEX) and Rotary’s North American Youth Exchange Network (NAYEN) policies and positions. Please note: If you find any difference in our content and other districts’ websites (which may vary widely) you must default to the rules presented by District 5160.

District 5160 Rotary Youth Exchange committee has the following best practice guidelines for sharing photos and for posting photos within the context of meeting the 4-way test and not depicting any “Ds” (Drinking, Drugs, Driving, Dating, Disfigurement, Disrespect & Smoking) by students:

  • The US Department of Justice (DOJ) mandates that photos with student names can NOT be used for promotional purposes.
  • Photos WITHOUT last names but including first names can be used for official RYE and Rotary club newsletters and announcements, ie “Byron, 2019-20 Inbound from Spain is welcomed by his Woodland Rotary club counselor and host family”. Please see the August 2019 District 5160 RYE newsletter on the Dist 5160 RYE website as an example of this.
  • Unofficial emails sharing appropriate photos (informal fun, club contact/events w student, DG celebration/party, fun non-Rotary events, vocational observation, cultural experiences fellowship opportunities, group photos…) with community members, i.e. private correspondence within our Rotary District can include names.
  • Social media – appropriate photos (i.e. passing 4-way test, showing positive exchange experiences and no “Ds” or even the appearance of “Ds”!) WITHOUT student names can be posted on social media. Adults (including any Rotarian or host family members) CANNOT tag photos with names; however, the RYE students themselves can tag photos.
  • When in doubt – DON”T use names

Please note: The students are told that if they post something prohibited or involving a D (such as holding an alcoholic-looking drink or getting a “fake” tattoo), even in jest, the Committee has taken a the stance of “if you post it, you did it”.

The committee responds to Rotarians, and other adults, who may be unknowingly sharing photos with names or with inappropriate subjects with corrective information.