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to be annoyed at headmistress' attitude?

(94 Posts)
MummyDragon Wed 03-Jun-09 21:08:41

Bit long-winded, sorry, please bear with me.

DS (he's in Year R) started at a new school on Monday. Fab school; he's loving it; I am very very impressed with everything so far.

Except for this one thing!

I filled in all the forms, as you do, before he joined, and one of them was the form about allowing your child's images to be used on film, in print, etc. DH and I decided, very soon after our first dc was born, that we would not allow any pictures of our kids to be on the internet and that we would not allow them to be filmed. (I don't even put pictures of my kids on Facebook etc). So, on the school form, I specifically said that I did not consent to ds being filmed, and that his photo could only be used for in-school displays.

Yesterday a promotional DVD was being filmed at the school. All day. I did not receive prior notice of this but I thought this was OK as the school knew that I did not want my son to be filmed. However, as the children were leaving school the camerman was standing, filming, right by the gate so that everyone had to pass him to get out of the school grounds (there is only one way out). Therefore, my son's image was captured on film. (He was filming the kids leaving the classrooms, playing and then leaving the school grounds).

I wrote a very pleasant note to the headmistress this morning, asking her to please make sure that ds' image was not used and to please destroy any film of him if possible. She had a chat with me after school to tell me that it had all been sorted out, but she was not aware that the chap had been blithely filming away in the playground without supervision, and said to me, "only 2 children were not allowed to be filmed, which did make things a bit difficult."

Eh?????? So I don't want paedophiles to get hold of images of my kids and masturbate over them. Sorry but that is why I don't want my kids to be filmed, as there is no way to control who gets hold of the end results. If this is being difficult, should I care?

How many of you have refused to allow your kids to be filmed at school? AIBU not to allow it, and AIBU to be annoyed at what the headmistress said to me? (She did say it very nicely but she made me feel like a child again!).

Comments welcome, thank you smile

<<Stands up bravely and awaits firing squad>>

LaurieFairyCake Wed 03-Jun-09 21:12:59

She said it nicely that it was difficult to arrange because there were only two who weren't allowed - that is her perspective.

She didn't try to push it on to you or change your mind, instead she was nice.

What exactly would you have liked her to do?

LadyAga Wed 03-Jun-09 21:14:43

I understand why you are angry.

You did not consent to your child being filmed and the school that you trust to protect your children did not respect your wishes.

I think the chances of a paedophile masturbating over images of your child are not worth worrying about in this instance (unless your child was undressed).

But you should be in charge of who can take pictures of your child and how that imagery is used.

ScaredOfEverything Wed 03-Jun-09 21:15:20

I can kind of see where you are coming from...but I think you are being a little hysterical.

I find this:

"So I don't want paedophiles to get hold of images of my kids and masturbate over them"

massively OTT.

BoffinMum Wed 03-Jun-09 21:15:54

Um, how shall I put this?

Might I suggest that you may be just a little paranoid?? And that this paranoia is in many respects harmful to society, the idea that paedos are hiding around every corner waiting to wack off over pictures of 50 children in school sweatshirts??

Call me old-fashioned, but I think many children are being deprived of their social histories as a result of this new craze to suspect dark deeds everywhere. And that this is both a sign of our times and a great shame. So YABU.

(See, I didn't shoot!! Just said it nicely!!)

youhavegottobekidding Wed 03-Jun-09 21:16:09

normally if one parent refuses permission that means no one is allowed to be filmed/photographed. mention this to her.

janeite Wed 03-Jun-09 21:16:48

Well, you sounded totally rational and reasonable until the bit about masturbation and then you just sound silly tbh.

The head teacher offered an opinion ie it can be difficult to filter pupils out without singling them out to all pupils ('you're not being photographed; go and stand in the corner' sort of thing). What you need to request now, politely and avoiding masturbation or other hysteria, is that the photographs featuring your child at the gate are filtered out and not used in publicity shots: they should have plenty more to use that don't feature your child.

LadyPinkofPinkerton Wed 03-Jun-09 21:17:01

I don't share your opinion on filming of children. I don't see it as that much of a big deal.

But saying that YANBU the Head should take it more seriously. If you do not give consent then your child should not be in the images. I have a friend who is a teacher and several children at her school are not allowed to be photographed or filmed due to the fact they live in a refuge and potentially could end up in danger if their fathers were to find out where they are, so it has to be adhered to. So I feel they should take it seriously

MummyDragon Wed 03-Jun-09 21:17:24

Hi Laurie,

In an ideal world I'd have liked her to a) not allow the chap to film in the playground without checking first that all the kids were allowed to be filmed, and b) not told me that it made things difficult for her - I don't like my decisions being questioned (can't you tell?!! wink wink). (And I am a sucker for perceiving that people are trying to make me feel guilty even when they are not - blame my childhood).

However, the fact that I've posted this in AIBU does suggest that perhaps I AM BU ... n'est-ce pas?!

janeite Wed 03-Jun-09 21:18:08

Youhavegottobekidding - that statement is incorrect (unless an individual school has made that decision).

Kathyis6incheshigh Wed 03-Jun-09 21:18:20

I think you are being very precious about images of your child and a touch hysterical about the fear that paedophiles will get hold of it, BUT if the school gives you a form that gives you the opportunity to opt out then they are unreasonable not to respect your choice. Otherwise the forms are just for show and that's sheer hypocrisy on their part.

Dysgu Wed 03-Jun-09 21:19:37

It is your choice not to have your child filmed or photographed.

Having only 2 children in the entire school to ensure don't appear in the film is easy - in my classes we have had situations where we have to check lists to see who can and can't be included in films and photographs.


"So I don't want paedophiles to get hold of images of my kids and masturbate over them." hmm unlikely to happen over a film of a mass gathering of uniformed school children, surely?

nellynaemates Wed 03-Jun-09 21:19:53

OK, YANBU to be upset that your wishes were not adhered to and maybe the headmistress wasn't entirely diplomatic but not really out of order IMO.

However, on the filming thing I think you are absolutely crazily paranoid. Sorry, but why on earth would you worry about paedophiles masturbating over images of your fully clothed child in a school photo/film?

Everyone's protective of their child but I think this borders into over-protective and I bet kids don't really like being the one that's not allowed to pose for the photo because mummy doesn't allow it. Completely bizarre and a symptom of our widespread media-induced panic.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 03-Jun-09 21:20:03

MD - the headteacher didn't question your decision - it was entirely from her point of view.

Now all the others on this thread did question your perspective wink

MummyDragon Wed 03-Jun-09 21:20:44

I didn't mention paedophiles or masturbation to the headmistress!!!! That is MY reason for not wanting my kids to be filmed but of course I wouldn't say that to the headmistress!

Oh, and my DH used to be a police officer and I'm afraid there are many, many horrible people who DO masturbate over images of children. Sorry, but he and his ex-colleagues have been involved with several; it is revolting and it does happen.

I think I am being reasonable in expecting my son not to be filmed but am being unreasonable in getting steamed up about the headmistress's comment!

BoffinMum Wed 03-Jun-09 21:21:53

Schools tend to be pretty good about child protection situations, but a normal group shot when such a situation doesn't apply is something quite different. As long as the children aren't named individually, I think it's not really a problem.

2shoes Wed 03-Jun-09 21:22:09

yabu imo

Morloth Wed 03-Jun-09 21:23:42

OK I think you are being way OTT over the not filming/photographing of your kid. People take photos of the boy all over the world (what can I say, he is a good lookin' kid grin).

However, having said that if you have been given the option to opt out of it and you have done so then that needs to be respected.

I am not sure you need to take it any further as she already knows that you are upset about it.

janeite Wed 03-Jun-09 21:23:57

No - I wasn't suggesting that you mentioned it to the head - and I wasn't saying you're not entitled to withdraw your child from filming. You are, of course and quite rightly, allowed to make that choice.

However, the way you expressed that decision on here was through the reference to masturbation, which is why I referred to it. It was at that point that you sounded silly and unreasonable - I'm sure when you spoke to the head, you sounded perfectly rational!

MummyDragon Wed 03-Jun-09 21:24:03

BoffinMum, I would agree with you except for the fact that the school form had a question which specifically covered that situation and I did not give my consent for it ...

OK, I realise I sound totally paranoid but I just cannot help the way I feel about this. Perhaps I need some professional help <<deep sigh emoticon>>

nellynaemates Wed 03-Jun-09 21:24:19


I'm sure paedophiles do masturbate over images of children. Maybe the odd one even does it over a school photo that they have some how got hold of (although I would guess they would be in the minority).

It's a horrible thought, but the chances of it happening are very small and if it somehow did happen, what negative impact would it actually have on your child?

LovelyTinOfSpam Wed 03-Jun-09 21:25:04

I have seen these threads before but only just had this realisation:

Don't they have class/school photos any more on photo day then?

And for eg our class did a yearbook from the photos which I still have - that would be out of the question?

Morloth Wed 03-Jun-09 21:26:09

Also do you flip out when people are taking photos in public places and your DS could end up in them by accident?

DesperateHousewifeToo Wed 03-Jun-09 21:26:37

The fact that the there were 2 children not allowed to be filmed is not your problem.

The film company should be able to blank out faces or film in such a way that they could not be identified.

If you felt like a child after speaking with the Headmistress then the problem lies with you. She was only acknowledging your letter and doing her job.

Ity sounds as though she took on board your concerns.

ps. I think worrying about a paedophile using your child's image for gratification from a school video is somewhat ott, though.

RockinSockBunnies Wed 03-Jun-09 21:27:31

Even if, by some remote chance, a paedophile did manage to see a photo of your children and decided to masturbate over them, how on earth would that affect your children? They wouldn't know about, you wouldn't know about it. It's not like the paedophile will advertise the fact.

For all you know, any paedophile could walk down the street, glance at your children and decide to use the image of them, in his mind, to fantasise over.

I don't understand this attitude at all. Yes, there are some screwed up people in the world. But, to curtail the chance for other parents to take photos of their children in the school play in case someone like you objects to the possibility of your DC being caught on camera seems extreme to me. Society is becoming ever more paranoid and litigious - do you really need to fuel the fire?

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