Thursday 18 June 2009

Sports day pic ban press freedom fear

A story in today's Daily Telegraph about a primary school in Devon banning pictures being taken at a sports day is a worrying throwback.
When the Data Protection Act and Human Rights Acts were first introduced it led some authorities to wrongly ban the local press from covering traditional news events, such as school plays and sports days, claiming they were protecting children from sex offenders.
It was only after a strong campaign by the Society of Editors, which memorably argued that there would be a "lost generation" of children whose activities would not be recorded in the local press, that it was made clear that banning the pictures of children was not within the scope of either Act.
In this new ban, Mrs Ethelson's Church of England Primary School in Uplyme, Devon, has told parents the ban on sports day pictures is "due to changes in child protection legislation".
Given past experience, I doubt whether any such legislation exists.

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