School Surveillance Cameras- Privacy vs Security

Recently, a mother stepped forward in Plano, TX to speak out about bullying and hazing since her child was sexually assaulted in the boy’s locker room. She approached the police, leading to an investigation and criminal charges for 5 teenage boys. The school has since increased their security measures, with more supervision and more security cameras in public areas. Obviously security cameras can NOT be placed in private locations in a school, such as restrooms and locker rooms, but more schools are opting for the use of surveillance cameras in public areas. From the National Center for Education Statistics, it is reported that a whopping “84 percent of high schools, 73 percent of middle schools, and 51 percent of primary schools reported that they used security cameras to monitor their schools.” Surveillance cameras used in schools help to monitor vandalism, theft, and who is entering or leaving the campus. They can also help to deter bullying, hazing and violent behavior. In rare occurences, the use of cameras can aid in quickly locking down the school in the case of an emergency. Pictured below is a surveillance still from the tragic Columbine school shooting in 1999.

Ex. Surveillance Camera Still from Columbine Shooting

Ex. Surveillance Camera Still from Columbine Shooting

Installing cameras in a school setting can be very controversial and upsetting to many parents. However, just the presence of security should give a parent peace of mind their child is being monitored and cared for with their safety as the top priority. How do you feel about surveillance cameras being installed in schools?