Photo ban at school events

HUNTER parents have been told not to photograph children at school assemblies and performances because of child protection issues.

Two Hunter primary schools have reminded parents in the past month of concerns about capturing images of children at school events.

It comes as smart phones make it easier for parents to more regularly take photos and videos at functions.

Grahamstown Public School principal Sue Kane asked parents not to film or photograph students at assemblies or performances because of child protection issues.

She said there had been cases where parents had filmed a performance and uploaded it onto video website YouTube without any consent from parents of children also in the video.

‘‘We can’t publish students' photos without permission but have no control over where photos are published that are taken at assemblies,’’ she told parents.

The school has instead asked parents to take photos of their children with their prizes and certificates after assemblies before they return to class.

Mount Hutton Public School principal Jim Findlay told parents they could not photograph or video at school unless the principal was satisfied there was a good reason.

‘‘At our school, ‘good reason’ is defined as parents, carers and family members photographing or videoing their own children at school activities,’’ he said.

Any images that happened to capture other children should be treated with ‘‘appropriate concern for their rights’’.

‘‘We expect people to be aware that there are issues associated with filming students other than their own,’’ he told parents.

A NSW Education Department spokeswoman confirmed department policy was that visitors should not take photos and videos at schools unless the principal was satisfied there was a good reason and visitors should get permission where appropriate.

‘‘While there is no general law against taking photographs, such behaviour may, depending on the circumstances, be considered as inappropriate,’’ she said.

‘‘The policy for each school has been determined by the school’s management.’

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