The end of innocence?

AS a parent, you will cherish those pictures.Every so often, however long after, you will reach for that treasured photograph album and gaze at the perhaps fading print of your child on stage in angel costume at their nativity play.

By Debbie Watson

AS a parent, you will cherish those pictures.

Every so often, however long after, you will reach for that treasured photograph album and gaze at the perhaps fading print of your child on stage in angel costume at their nativity play.

Or will you?

Could new measures, seemingly intended to protect youngsters from paedophiles, be about to ruin the special stages of childhood?

At the weekend it emerged that parents in Edinburgh could be facing up to exactly that.

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In a controversial move, the city council said that parents will only be allowed to video or photograph their child's role in the school nativity play if the family of each and every youngster agrees to it.

Such news comes just a few weeks after a Bedfordshire school banned video cameras from its nativity play, claiming that the images could get into the hands of paedophiles.

The motivation behind such moves can be understood.

It is the same concerns which have already prevented some organisations from running pictures of children on their websites, and which provoke warnings about photography in some leisure centres.

Increasingly we are hearing alarming stories of adults caught in possession of suspect material, and of those who prey on vulnerable children.

Yet, although we may have grounds for being fearful, is it really right to take such excessive measures in respect of our youngsters' childhood?

Most schools in Suffolk appear determined to allow nativity plays and other such events to be enjoyed fully.

See full story in tonight's Evening Star…