Center for Rights petitions Prince George's County Public Schools over copyright policy

The Center for Rights sent a petition signed by nearly 2,000 to the Prince George’s County Public Schools Board of Education today, asking the district to abandon a draft copyright policy that would have declared students’ and teachers’ works to be property of the district.

Evan Greer, Campaign Manager at the Center for Rights, said the group hopes the district will publicly denounce the policy, which district officials last week said was on hold indefinitely. The Center for Rights is an organization that helps raise awareness about individual's rights and how to defend them.

“What we don’t want is for people to take their eyes off this issue and for them to push it through and for students and teachers to suffer because people thought it was a done deal,” Greer said. The group has created a website to highlight Prince George's proposal.

Edward Burroughs, the Board of Education's District 8 representative, said he had not seen the petition yet but “believe[s] the policy will die.” As a junior in college himself, he said he understands the "absurd" nature of the policy.

“Nothing has given me the inclination that this policy has any traction. Nothing,” Burroughs said. “I wouldn’t even be surprised if I never saw this policy again.”

In an email to the SPLC last week, Briant Coleman, the district’s director of communications, stated that the policy was on hold because it was too broad. “The bill is not intended to exert ownership over students, teachers and employee works created for school use,” he wrote.

Tagged: Civic Engagement, copyright, Prince George’s County