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Modelling class for kids pulled over 'ethics'

Vivian Tse · 26 Aug 2010, 16:31

Published: 26 Aug 2010 16:31 GMT+02:00

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The program's objectives at the Medborgarskolan in Karlskrona included "movements, walking and exhibition techniques," "test shooting, posing techniques" and "nutrition and diet," the report said.

Carl-Johan Östh, the rector of Medborgarskolan, which has campuses across the country, admitted that courses occasionally slip into the curriculum that are actually intended for an older audience.

"It was the wrong target group. They were too young, so they removed the course," he told The Local. "The local level must think twice before offering courses on the web. There will be serious discussions about it at the regional level to prevent it from happening again."

Medborgarskolan offers courses and cultural activities to anyone living in Sweden ranging from dance, language, painting and boat certification.

According to Östh, certain courses are open to students from 13 to "over 100 if they can get here," while others are available to even younger students.

Östh believes that the instructor who had proposed the course on the Karlskrona branch's website may have lived in the US or England, where beauty pageants for young children are more common, but are rare in Sweden.

The decision to remove the course was made at the regional level and Östh revealed that the regional director only started a month ago.

"It's not wrong for us to have rules," he said. "It's more of an ethical discussion to have at the regional level. I think it's good that we have this kind of discussion because we have an ethical platform to discuss these kinds of questions."

Story continues below…

He added that the school did not receive any formal complaints about the class, but that not all course proposals are accepted, such as those relating to healing or stargazing, because they do not conform to its rules.

"We have a lot of courses, over 60,000 every year," he told The Local. "In the future, we'll have the same rules for all of Sweden."

Vivian Tse (vivian.tse@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

22:25 August 26, 2010 by annodyne
But still, models are needed for children's clothes, for magazines and catalogs, if not for runway work. The details of what was to be taught, and to whom, the children, or the parents of the children or both isn't made clear here. For example it says "nutrition and diet"- we don't know from the article whether that was healthy diet or weight loss, which would be ridiculous in children this age. Also we don't know on what basis the complaints were made. Were people overreacting to words like "diet" and "child" and "model" together, or were there legitimate issues with the curriculum? Not enough info.
07:03 August 27, 2010 by crunchy2k
The local presents Swedish news to the English speaking world...Like annodyne, I have found the stories to be very light in content and information and big on headlines. I guess you could call me a leecher of Swedish news to keep reading the Local SW version. I'm thankful for the English version of the local as I have not found translation software that can translate the Swedish language.

This story is one of administering a Swedish educational program....and there the writer succeeds in getting across the point that this is Sweden and not America where little kids are used to fulfill a mother's lost dream of stardom or gaining money from their kids success. I applaud Carl-Johan Östh for doing his job.
07:44 August 27, 2010 by Rishonim
How conveniently to blame the decision on someone who may have lived in UK or the US. I don't buy Carl-Johan Östh sorry excuse that sometime some courses slip before his hawkish eyes. It probably had his full approval. I have been to Karlskrona and it is a strange and boring place. Hence there is no surprise they wanter to find some sort of exploitation entertainment for kids. It is also the home to that idiot Anders Högström
08:54 August 27, 2010 by Puffin
Is there really a demand for child models in Karlskrona? Diet advice for 5 year olds - totally stupid.

I have known quite a few English speaking parents who have been interested in their child becoming a model - although most have dropped out when they realise how little money there is in it. Basically the parents end up paying for it

There is much less demand for child models in Sweden than in the UK/US and most of the work is in Stockholm (perhaps a little in Gothenburg and Malmö) and it is not well paid - child models might earn 250-400 per hour on an advert/catalogue job or 300-500 for half a day as a film extra.

However it is not regular work where it makes sense to pay a lot of money for training and indeed parents would likely make a loss on travelling costs and time off work for auditions if travelling from Karlskrona.

The course sounds more like a money making scheme to fleece parents
09:47 August 27, 2010 by Rishonim
This is the scheme from the heads of Medborgarskolan: Kids in Karlskrona are boring, they walk like kids, they sound like kids and eat too much ice cream. Why don't we introduce a modeling course to motivate their fat ankle mother's to live their long gone dreams through their little kids. Sick, sick...
12:39 August 27, 2010 by Swedesmith
I hate this kind of crap! Let kids be kids, it's such a special time. Let them run and jump and play. Modeling, beauty pageants and the like are exploitive and stupid.
14:25 August 27, 2010 by Youdee
If a company needs child models or a TV/fim production company needs extras, then the companies should pay to train them.
16:22 August 27, 2010 by BobYourUncle
"Let them run and jump and play." ... hilarious
22:53 September 9, 2010 by mikewhite
I think that any pageants in England are proposed by people from the US where pageants for young children are more common ...
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