Parents Outraged by Paparazzi at Celebrity Preschool

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SANTA MONICA -- The paparazzi are creating a "circus-like" atmosphere at a Santa Monica preschool, according to dozens of parents who are outraged by the chaos.

Among the celebrities who send their children to the First Presbyterian Nursery School are Jennifer Garner and Meg Ryan, both of whom have been photographed picking up their children by a crowd of hungry photographers.

City officials have received letters from thirty parents complaining about the nuisance caused by the paparazzi.

In the letters, the parents say the cameras have increased congestion on the street, the paparazzi drive recklessly in the neighborhood and photographers create a scene that is frightening to their children. At least one family said they were verbally assaulted by one of the photographers.

"We've seen parents get lenses in their face where literally it knocks them over," parent Geoffrey Blake told KTLA.

Mary Hartzeil, the director of the nursery school says that the school has had famous parents for years, but the situation has gotten worse lately.

'The school has always been a place that welcomes diversity and we have families from different economic, racial, social and religious backgrounds," she wrote in a letter to city officials.

A local Santa Monica City Councilman, Richard Bloom, says the city will investigate "intrusive and invasive" activities of paparazzi photographers and videographers in areas where children gather. Bloom calls the situation "intolerable" and agrees that something must be done.

Bloom says the city will consider regulations that would establish a reasonable distance that photographers should have to maintain.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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