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[font="Comic Sans MS"]Need to run this past you all!... we went out today to visit a "French market" in our little town, the children all have on our hi viz jackets and HOLD the walking rope. We have lots of comments about this method of keeping the children safe ( not all good comments as i have posted in the past!)

As we all where viewing the stalls a lady pops up and says "can i just take a photo of them please as they all look so cute" I replied "sorry but with out indvidual parental consent i can not give you permission to take any photos of the children" & we moved on. The lady carried on behind us and tried to take a photo but a quick thinking member of staff walking behind the children quickly got in her way!!!

I have full consent for outings, photos taken by the playgroup and for their use but how do we stand with the general public snapping away. Who knows whom is taken photos and for what reason? Am i having a dramer over noughing?

I have to attend a safe gaurding children meeting tomorrow, i think i will run it past them. [/font]

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I believe you did the right thing.

 

Good idea to clarify at your meeting tomorrow.

 

There are many a weird people out their doing who knows what with these so called innocent photos. :o

 

I never given permission for my children (12 & 14) to have any photos posted onto any website. I always cross out that bit on consent forms.

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Thats a tricky one Lesley, what about if we take children to the park, picnics, farms, zoos etc. How can we ever protect children from getting into someones photo.

If she hadnt asked and you'd seen or suspected that she'd snapped them, would you have asked for the camera? If she'd refused what on earth would you have being able to do?

I'm not being critical of you, I'd initially have said the same thing but it does make you wonder doesnt it? :o

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That is just my point Rea, the lady asked which was the correct thing to do but she still carried on... i'm really not sure what is the best action to take. I don't mean to tarnish good intending people with the same brush as some one with bad intentions. It is a hard reply to give back with out offending some one.

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The pity is Lesley, that if you explain to the parents, it only takes one to say they dont want their child going on outings any more and its practically ruined for the rest.

 

In an ideal world these things wouldnt be a worry, but as they are, I personaly say this,

'Continue on your walks, keep a watchful eye on anyone, not those necessarily carrying a camera, and enjoy yourselves.'

 

I think we have to weigh the pros and cons in a situation like this and as the pro's far outweigh the cons I'd put it down to experience and carry on having a lovely time. :o

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I have to say I agree with Rea. If you did write a letter then it would only take one to say that they didn't want their child leaving the nursery and then this could spoil it for all the rest.

I too would keep a watchful eye out when taking the children out (as we all do anyway). After all, children are constantly caught on CCTV when out shopping with their parents etc - I just think that some things are just out of our control. You did exactly the right thing and I don't think you can do any more than you did.

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I would say the same as Ariel & Rea.....continue with your walk and be vigilant (as we always are). I believe you did the correct thing by telling the lady not to take a photo. It's such a shame the world has got like this but we have to do everything we can to protect these children.

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Please don't go down the route of thinking that you can't even take them out because of the risk of someone taking a photograph! Lets all get this into perspective and be more realistic. I don't know if you have 'at risk' children whose identity needs to be protected in some way but this needs to be weighed against the positive benefits to them all of getting out and about. And if you don't have any 'at risk' children then I'm not quite sure what you think the risk is to the children.

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My personal belief is that as long as the children are fully clothed (not at the pool or seaside) or in anyway identified by name photographs pose very little if any threat. While I would not give permission, if asked, to strangers to photograph my class I would not worry that someone may take an innocent snap while out on a walk.

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This is a really interesting issue - my first thought was to wonder what the law says about privacy and children's rights to control over their image. What does your consent form about taking photographs of children say? I agree that it is difficult whilst 'out in public' to control every aspect of the environment (and in some respects why would you want to?). I think in the circumstances you did exactly the right thing.

 

I was a bit concerned about various comments about not mentioning it to parents though on the basis that parents might not want to let their children go out on walks etc. I would worry that one of the children would say something at home and then you might find yourself justifying to parents why you hadn't mentioned it yourself (especially as children often get the wrong end of the stick and put an entirely different spin on things!).

 

We had a similar issue at my son's primary school where a man was seen taking photographs of children in the street as they walked either into or out of school (I can't remember which). Much uproar in school - children being warned etc. Turned out in the end that it was simply someone standing waiting and sending a text - an entirely innocent action. However, most parents were pleased that the school had taken a proactive approach to keeping our children safe. The poor man concerned was actually a relative of one of the children at the school, who 'gave himself up' on hearing what had transpired.

 

And to throw something else into the mix - I wonder what the reaction might have been if it was a little old man wanting to take a snap and not a lady? Or am I just being provocative? :o

 

Maz

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Personally I wouldn't have a problem man or woman. I'm not sure what the perceived risk/threat is here. I think it is another case of our society going crazy. One of our staff has just returned from China where parents thrust their children into photographs with members of the tour party without a worry that this somehow put them into mortal danger. Just last week a BBC report talked of the harm we are doing to children by removing them from every single "imagined" risk so they don't know what to do in the event of a real danger. End of soap box............

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Personally I wouldn't have a problem man or woman. I'm not sure what the perceived risk/threat is here. I think it is another case of our society going crazy. One of our staff has just returned from China where parents thrust their children into photographs with members of the tour party without a worry that this somehow put them into mortal danger. Just last week a BBC report talked of the harm we are doing to children by removing them from every single "imagined" risk so they don't know what to do in the event of a real danger. End of soap box............

 

I am really glad that I am not the only one who thinks this Marion! I get quite exasperated at the hype that goes behind this sort of issue, to the point that people are really losing the plot. The number of children abducted each year by strangers are relatively small and the majority of them would not fall into the age range we are dealing with. And paedophiles are not interested in cute pictures of children walking along a street or playing in a childcare setting. They want something much more provocative and explicit and there are plenty of places on the internet they can get that without having to set foot out of their homes. Please let common sense prevail!

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thanks for all your words of wisdom!! having slept on it i shall continue to be out and about with the children and discourge any person taking photos as much as i can ( & staff ) by giving a quick response like i used on friday. Today i have been on safe guarding children training and i ran it past the tutors, it was agreed that i had done all i could do and in the correct manner. I feel i must inform parents and seek their views and see what this brings. Thanks once again folks!!

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This is another interesting discussion on the 'photo's permission' debate.

 

First I asked myself what I would have said given the same situation, my answer, I don't know. On hindsight now, I would like to think that I would have asked the lady why she wanted a photo, maybe she worked with children and thought "What a great idea,, would like to take a picture to show my bosses a great way to keep children safe".

I may have said yes but with children facing away from the camera, to make it anonomous so to speak. In reality I don't know.

 

I do think you did what was for you the right thing at the right time.

 

As for informing parents. I wouldn't send out a letter, but would mention it verbally to the parents of the children attending that day, then I could experience their true reaction to the information, helping me to gauge how to deal with this occurance, ie: to review my policies and practice.

On my registration forms I cover consents, one of them being consent for parents / staff to take photo's and viseos of events such as sports day, christmas shows etc. I always state that I cannot know what will be done with the pictures, once taken. I have never had anyone refuse consent, not even from carers of LAC.

 

Now considering childrens rights, I as a foster carer have been told by my foster childrens socal worker that permission for photo's is not given. My 4 yr old was not allowed to be included in the preschool 'group' photo, so I got by this by having 2 photos taken, one with her in it and one with her not in it. The one with her not in it went out to all the parents and the one with her in it I had for her life story folder. Problem solved. However, our oldest, 12 yr old foster son came home from school last week saying he had had his photo taken ( an individual picture, not a group one). I said that we, or the school, did not have permission for him to be photographed and that maybe when group photos were done, the school would realise this and not allow him to take part. He was furious, we tried to explain the reasons but he adamently said he didn't care, his main concern is being singled out as different, he is concerned that his peers will find out he is in foster care. We reassured him he had a right to feel how he does, and that the 'blanket' no photo's rule from the social worker needed to be reviewed and we would speak to her to ensure HIS thoughts were listened to, his right. This experience, like this topic made me think how blatently we as adults stop children participating in things, right mindedly in the interests of their safety when in fact the outcome of these decisions actually more seriously affect other aspects of their well being.

 

Another thought, when I take the preschool children to the park, or out and about and I happily snap away taking photo's for their development files, I must admit I am not always aware of whether there are other non preschool children in the background of these pictures, until I download them from the camera. Am I a serious threat to their safety, no, but I have infringed on their privacy.

 

I agree with the keep this all in perspective comments, as said we are all on CCTV, I will add to my parent info booklet that I cannot control what photographic images either by single persons or CCTV are being taken of children whilst outside the premises.

 

Peggy

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I feel i must inform parents and seek their views and see what this brings. Thanks once again folks!!

Personally, I would do the same - and Peggy's suggestion of doing it verbally rather than in writing is sensible. Letters make things more formal and would risk making it more of an issue than it need be.

 

I'm glad that the tutors confirmed that you had done the right thing - just goes to show that when you follow your instincts, you usually get it right.

 

Maz

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This experience, like this topic made me think how blatently we as adults stop children participating in things, right mindedly in the interests of their safety when in fact the outcome of these decisions actually more seriously affect other aspects of their well being.

Absolutely Peggy - I couldn't agree more.

 

Of course we will always need to make decisions for children in order to keep them safe from whatever threats they may face (real or perceived), however it is important to make sure children's voices are heard and listened to - after all it is their life and they need some control over what happens to them. It will be interesting to see how you get on with the social worker (and how flexible their rules are when applied to individual children).

 

My guess is 'not very' is likely to be the answer!

 

Maz

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And paedophiles are not interested in cute pictures of children walking along a street or playing in a childcare setting. They want something much more provocative and explicit and there are plenty of places on the internet they can get that without having to set foot out of their homes. Please let common sense prevail!

I have no way of knowing if this is true - but I do know from my limited research in this area that there are individuals who are attracted to small children because of their very innocence and pre-school uniforms and the paraphernalia of childhood etc only add to the attraction. The likelihood of a group of children coming across such an individual - especially outside in the wider community - is probably miniscule, though.

 

Most of the time when we're out and about with our own children we wouldn't even think about it unless someone was behaving very oddly in close proximity to our family group. We can't - and shouldn't - let paranoia about what might happen rule our lives.

However, I'm always very aware that when I'm out and about that I'm assessing risk on behalf of these children's parents which somehow seems an added responsibility.

 

And perhaps my views are coloured by my own experience of regularly being followed home from school by a very 'odd' man when I was quite small, and the feeling that no adult was around to protect me.

 

I said I was probably being provocative, didn't I? Sorry if I caused anyone's blood pressure to rise by more than was comfortable.

 

Maz

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