Parents and school groups say they are outraged at news a primary
school principal let controversial artist Bill Henson scour the
playground for child models.

An exhibition by Henson was pulled
from the walls of a Sydney art gallery in May, when police considered
but did not lay charges over the show which included images of a naked
12-year-old girl.

In a book by journalist David Marr, Henson
says the girl and her family remain strong supporters of the
photographic work and he only regretted the public furore it had caused.

it he also said a Melbourne primary school principal agreed to let him
wander the playground at lunch time searching for suitable subjects for
his controversial artwork.

Schools, parent groups and principals have told News Limited newspapers they are alarmed and angered at the revelations.

The president of the Australian Primary Principals Association, Leonie Trimper, said parents should have been warned in advance.

“Primary schools are not showcases for the public to come in and choose students for their own personal projects,” she said.

McHardy, the executive officer of Parents Victoria, said if model
agencies ever visited the school they had to be accompanied.

my experience they’re not given the opportunity to walk around in the
playground to procure their subject models,” Ms McHardy said.

Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan yesterday called the Victorian principal’s actions the “ultimate betrayal of trust”.

child should have an unconditional guarantee of safe passage through
school,” he said. “For a school principal to take a deliberate decision
(to allow) a commercial photographer to trawl through the schoolyard is