Over the weekend of April the 10th, students of PHS noticed a change regarding their Google Accounts. All of the profile pictures were changed from images of the student’s choice to their school picture out of seemingly nowhere.
“I think that it was unnecessary, because I know that there are some students who do not feel comfortable with having their faces as a profile picture and I feel like we should have the option and opportunity to choose what we have as our profile picture.” Junior Jae Leveille said.
Some students at least wish they were notified of the change so they weren’t caught off guard.
“I definitely wished they did,” said Senior CJ Sherman. “I was like ‘wait why is my face here?’. I was so used to my profile picture being there (…) and then I saw it was like that for everyone else as well and I was like ‘oh they just changed everything.’ ”
This decision isn’t exactly a sudden one. Last year the administration had taken some beginning steps in limiting the profile pictures.
“It used to be you had the ability to edit your own profile pic, and so obviously there are some students, not many, but there are some who chose to do things irresponsible with that,” said Principal Brian Sniff. “So their profile pic was just not school appropriate, it was insensitive to someone else, whatever it might be. But every once in a while, we’d see a students name was changed or their profile picture changed, and so we at some point in time, and this was a while ago (…) the ability to change that profile picture was shut off. So that privilege was lost a long time ago. Now the problem that we faced was that whatever was in place just got left, some of the ones that were brought to our attention we had dealt with and had changed.” said Sniff.
Insight members had contacted Principal Brian Sniff to ask if they could change them due to the important individuals they email. An image of Spongebob doesn’t exactly demand respect from an editor from a news channel.
“We kind of went round and round our IT department trying to figure out ‘how do we best approach this?’,” Sniff said. “Because we want students to be able to move into a professional setting when they want to, but we also recognize that if we leave it wide open, then we run into some problems. So they eventually opened up, just for a couple of days, the window for the Insight students to fix theirs then close them again. But then it bubbled up again with students that were just unhappy with them or maybe they just had something that never got brought to our attention.”
A conversation took place between the IT department and Sniff with the goal of making a final decision unified. As they spoke they narrowed it down to either initials or school pictures. It is still up in the air whether or not the pictures will be the standard from here on out due to the work it may cause the IT department to continually update. Either we continue with ID pictures or the school will use the students’ initials. Despite the stir that this change caused, it’s uncertain if the school will solidify a decision