Since many classes are going online, do children under 18 require their parent/guardian to sign a consent form so they can participate?

Would it be different from a video release consent form since it's not being recorded and used as content?


1 Answer 1


The issue is not exactly with minors, it is with FERPA and COPPA. This assumes that you have some indication of what students are connected to the web page. If you have students under 13 (surely you do), you need verifiable parental consent. The FTC approves or disapproves particular methods of verification, here is their page on that. One approved and patented method is ChildGuardOnline Technology (it;s a business, not a free service). The other concern is that you have to scrupulously protect "student records". You already know that you can't disseminate "student records" without parental consent, what this adds is possibly new concerns with online security.

However, many schools are exempt from the COPPA requirements. Here are some "exceptions" to the rule, and nonprofit organizations are not subject to Section 5 of the FTC Act.

  • Is parental consent required if we don't own the website used for video conferencing? For example, we would be asking our students (ages can be both under and over 13) to join a Google Hangouts Meet conference. We don't own Google's website or software so we don't have control over verifying parental consent through the Hangouts website. The only information Hangouts asks invited guests is a name to display to others when they join the call.
    – cptncrnch
    Mar 27, 2020 at 18:37
  • You can read Google's claims here: support.google.com/a/answer/9784550?hl=en.
    – user6726
    Mar 27, 2020 at 18:43

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