Herlad Sun (Australia) June 22, 2008
PARENTS are furious after being banned from taking photographs of their children at weekend sporting events. They say the Bill Henson affair has made sports clubs paranoid about allowing them to photograph their children. Henson was cleared after police seized naked photographs of a 13- year-old girl from an art gallery. Netball, basketball, rugby league, AFL, cricket, soccer and baseball clubs have imposed rules to prevent photos of young players being taken without the consent of all parents and coaches. NSW’s Macarthur junior baseball league president Maud Goldfinch said parents had to sign a form confirming they would not take photographs without permission.
Ms Goldfinch said that as a parent, she did not agree with the policy, which deprived children of happy sporting memories. “A lot of parents don’t agree with what’s going on. They’re quite upset by not being able to take photos of their children – they see it as an invasion of their privacy. The Bill Henson (saga) brought it to a head. It’s made people more aware … and it brings debate around the topic.” Parents also need to give permission before photographs are uploaded to the club’s website. One father said he was made to feel like a pedophile while photographing his eight-year-old daughter on the netball court.