Parents are forbidden from photographing their own children at a Minnesota public pool.
But have no fear: The administrators for the Highland Park Aquatic Center have cameras and will be snapping away at your kids as they frolic in the pool in their bathing suits.
Those pictures might not make it into your family album. Unless you cut it out of the promotional brochure where they might end up.
Trish Lynne Deutsch wrote the following Facebook message to Photography is Not a Crime:
I was stopped at a city-owned water park and told I could not take photos of my own children.
Highland Park Aquatic Center is owned by the city: http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=2665. I tried to argue a bit, but then I just decided to pretend I was texting with my phone….whilst taking stealth photos….*of my own children*.
The reason they gave was that last summer someone walked in front of a patron who was taking pictures, and there was “an altercation”, so now they just don’t allow photos. Which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
In the brochure, it says these two things about photos: Photography & Video Recordings:
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation uses photography and video recordings to document activities and promote recreation opportunities. Participation in a recreation activity serves as your consent to such photographs and recordings unless you indicate otherwise to the facility staff.
And: Cameras and all video recording devices are not allowed on aquatic facility grounds including parking lot and locker rooms.
So in other words…they can take pictures of my children and put them on their website….without my permission, but I cannot take pictures of my own children, for my own private use. ??
Being this is a public pool, I’m curious as to who implemented this new rule?
And does it include cell phones? Nobody gives up their cell phone for anything these days.
Did the issue go before the city council in St. Paul, which is billed as the “Most Livable City in America?”
So livable that you don’t even have to photograph your own kids, they’ll do it for you.
Or was this just a decision made in haste to prevent future “altercations.”
Maybe they should start banning the people who created the altercations rather than the cameras themselves.
UPDATE: Here is the photo-rich brochure stating that cameras are not allowed near the pool or parking lot of the public-funded pool, but citizens entering the pool are automatically giving consent to be photographed or videotaped by staff for promotional purposes. Page two.
UPDATE II: The Highland Park Aquatic Center has responded to the issue on its Facebook page as well as in the comments below. A big thumbs up for its quick and honest response.
Your comments are appreciated, and have highlighted an error that has been promoted and enforced incorrectly, and is not a centrally administered policy by the Parks and Recreation Department. We are moving to correct this error and educate staff on the correct policy that allows patrons to take photos and videos in public facilities/open space. This error will be corrected and communicated accordingly. We apologize for any issues this may have caused.