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Gothenburg preschools end school photography

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Moments like these are a thing of the past for Gothenburg preschoolers. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT
16:39 CEST+02:00
Preschool managers in Gothenburg have decided to ban class photos at preschools in their municipality, citing the different financial situations of families as one reason for the change.

This past spring preschool managers on the municipality district committee of Askim-Frölunda-Högsbo made the decision to halt school photography at preschools in the area. Parents were notified of the decision this week. 

"For many years we have had professional photographers come to the school and photograph the children, individually and in groups, so parents can buy the pictures," Eva-Lena Båth, area director for the preschools, told The Local on Thursday.

"But this is a service we will no longer offer, as we have concluded that photography is a service not included in our educational duties." 

But there were other reasons as well.

"Not all parents can afford to purchase the pictures. It's nothing obligatory, but it can be interpreted that way," Båth said, citing the schools' equal treatment policy. 

While Båth stressed that many parents were pleased with the change, other voices arose expressing dissent.

"It's sad for the kids, who think it's a lot of fun to get pictures with their classmates," mum Sandra Langsrud told paper Göteborgs Posten.

Langsrud said she believed it was an important right for the children to have pictures to remember their time in school.

"They enjoy looking at those pictures later," she said. 

But certain pictures will still be available, Båth pointed out. The preschools have an online portal documenting their activities, and all parents have access to it. Teachers are already in the habit of photographing children during daily activities.

"The site documents our work, so parents can see pictures of their children anyway," Båth said. 

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The decision applies only to preschools in the area, with Båth explaining that the issue may not have come up in other schools' discussions.

"We don't work together on all issues," Båth told The Local. "But at the preschools, photography becomes a lot of work for the teaching staff as well. So the schools will be simpler this way."

This summer a school in central Sweden made headlines for banning all photography at school, even of friends and classmates at class graduation. 

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