Some argue that it invades privacy. Others want safety over their privacy. So, who is right? And are security cameras allowed in the classroom?
As the population continues to grow, millions of kids awaken to go to school. With an abundance of kids, a teacher could only do so much. Having security cameras in the classroom became an immense discussion between many.
In most schools across the country, cameras can be found in hallways, outside, and other spots. However, it is challenging to find security cameras in the classroom.
This is because many schools are either against it or do not have enough money to purchase them.
This discussion is very controversial, therefore we must go over both sides and understand the legal requirements for a project like this.
The upsides of having security cameras in the classroom
As we know, surveillance cameras are there to protect and look out for us. However, there are various ways in which security cameras in the classroom can have a remarkable good influence on the students and staff.
Certainly, safety is the priority of a school as there are so many young children and young adults walking through the halls.
However, in the world we live in today, we must admit that even schools are not a safe place for children as many things could happen. Sadly, we must protect children of shooters and other life-threatening situations nowadays.
But in a world of growing technology, we now have ways to improve safety. By having cameras in the halls, as many schools do, it is possible to monitor any unusual person walking through the school.
Yet, we must not believe that the danger only comes from outside. Having security cameras in the classroom can help safety in an abundance of ways.
Such as, monitoring a fire and knowing what is happening inside certain classrooms, therefore rushing help there and prioritizing a room first.
Cameras can also aid in the event that a student or member of staff presents a present danger to others around them. And can aid teachers in a medical emergency in which a child is having a health issue.
All in all, safety is a crucial part of a school. And implementing security cameras in the classroom can certainly aid in various ways when it comes to the greater good and safety.
Having cameras present inside the classroom definitively creates a different environment that causes the students and teachers to be more professional inside the classroom.
This can help teachers stay focused on their class and kids on their work. Which in turn gives kids time to get used to a more professional atmosphere as they would have in a job.
Additionally, this can teach them discipline and how to stay focused on a single task. Security cameras in the classroom not only lead kids to professionalism, but to learning how to behave themselves properly.
It is a tale as old as time, the "she said he said" fight. With security cameras in the classroom, there would be proof of who started a fight, who cheated, or who threw a spitball at the teacher.
Not only will the presence of the camera reduce the chances of a kid cheating, but it will also have proof if they do so.
Cheating, sleeping and fighting can be just some of the acts that can be caught on camera.
Apart from that, this can be a great way to show parents what their kid has been doing that is wrong and shows bad behavior. Therefore, helping the parent stay involved.
As well as opening the eyes of parents who truly believe their child would have done nothing wrong at all. The proof of negative behavior is a great way to help it improve.
The downside of having security cameras in the classroom
However, there are reasons as to why security cameras in the classroom can be disruptive and end up causing more bad than good.
Though there are some good things it can bring and cause kids to behave properly, it can have a backward effect.
By placing security cameras in the classroom it can show the children that they are not trusted, and cause them to want to act up. I mean, can you imagine being monitored every second of the day?
It can make them feel as if they are prisoners who are continuously attempting to do a harmful act to the school or others around them.
Additionally, the relationship between a student and a teacher can change dramatically. The intimacy of sharing stories and experiences can be remarkably touching to a child.
Many students look up to one of their favorite teachers to tell secrets, hang out with, ask for advice or even confess things that need to be addressed with the counselors.
Apart from that, many teachers love teaching for the feeling of inspiring kids. This can all be taken away by inputting security cameras in the classroom. Is it honestly worth it?
Also notable is the fact that the administrator can use it as a form to constantly monitor a teacher. Therefore causing them not to be as interactive with the class.
Teachers adding their personal lives to the job they do causes a huge difference and shows the student that they are alike.
It might just be a quick recap of their weekend, but it definitively plays a role in the learning to know that you can have a laugh here and there.
Think about it for a minute, if you have a kid, have they ever told you a funny story about their teacher's lives? I know I heard a bunch from my daughter.
It makes her experience of school that much better to be able to talk to her teachers about life and what is going on, while still learning what they need to.
When you remove the opportunities to have some fun and a little back and forth between students and teachers, it can end up changing a number of things.
For instance, every class had a class clown. The one who always made a joke, and made the whole class crack up. Or the kids who are about to graduate high school, playing a silly prank.
Those things lighten the mood and make everyone's day a little bit better. A camera in the classroom will not necessarily take that away, but it does make kids feel as if they are being watched.
Apart from that, in classes such as chemistry and biology labs, accidents can happen. In which everyone must exit the classroom so an affected student can change into new clothes for whatever reason.
Cameras could not record that as it is against the law. Therefore it can cause a serious issue in placement and interfere with the law.
The cost of installing security cameras
Cameras are not the cheapest item. And when buying and installing them in bulk, the cost can rise exponentially.
From the cameras to the installation, software and cloud storage, the pricing will not be cheap. Which makes us wonder, what else could that money go into?
The money could very much help clubs, or pay for remodels to the school that is needed. It can also be used to hire more staff, or but new equipment.
The money should be spent wisely. And the bill for the cameras will have plenty of digits. So it is something that has to be thought over thoroughly.
Before installing security cameras in the classroom
There are certain things you should know and even ask yourself before installing cameras.
Is it legal?
This is a very common question. Legally, yes. Schools are allowed to have cameras in places such as hallways, break rooms, main office, attendance office, parking lot, gym, and even classrooms.
Though some people can say it is an invasion of privacy, it does not make it any less legal for the school to install security cameras in the classrooms.
What schools are not allowed to do is place cameras in private areas such as a locker room or bathroom where children and young adults change.
The storage of the recordings must be kept safe and used responsibly. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the students and all their personal records..
Therefore, the students and parents have the right to inspect the video before the release of it and need to approve.
This keeps your child and their records and personal information safe and sound. So no need to worry.
The parent's involvement
As a school, you might have to ask yourselves whether the involvement of parents is important.
Having parents being able to monitor their kids during school can keep them at peace. However, it might also cause a lot of trouble at the same time.
Parents not only can constantly call the school for issues they see their child going through, but it can also be a huge distraction for parents who work.
All in all, schools can place security cameras in the classroom. However, it does not mean it is beneficial to the ones around it.
It can cause conflict, but it can also teach kids professionalism. It is up to the school to make a decision based on its merits and beliefs.
Do you think it should be allowed? Let us know in the comments below!
Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 16+ experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems.