School security has been and continues to be a hot topic as the number of school shootings rises. Students, families and staff members all have differing opinions on the controversial issue. There are compelling points on each side of the argument. Security cameras are an important topic as they can transform a school environment.
Is a Constant, Watchful Eye Too Intrusive?
Some studies suggest that having security systems in schools makes students feel like school is similar to a prison-like environment. With their every move being watched, students don’t feel trusted or at ease.
Oftentimes, once security cameras have been placed, suspensions increase. There have been no studies that show any positive effects of suspension on student behavior. This can cause long-term issues when it comes to discipline.
Students and parents may also feel uneasy about the constant recording. Students who don’t feel comfortable in their learning environment are less likely to perform at an optimum level. But are these hesitations enough to keep surveillance out of schools entirely?
On the Other Hand, Safety Is Key
Security is essential in keeping children safe, but to what degree? With the increase in bullying and school shootings, security cameras can help. When individuals know they are being watched, they may be more inclined to act appropriately.
Additionally, school security or resource officers can have a birds-eye view of the campus and react to situations more quickly. Surveillance can also help to determine if any individuals should not be allowed on campus based on their behavior in negative events on campus.
In dangerous situations, every minute counts, and a security camera can make all the difference. Site administrators, school security and resource officers can do their jobs more efficiently with the ability to see the full campus and re-watch events that occur.
Accountability for Teachers, Staff and Students
Another “pro” of having security cameras in schools is the importance of accountability. Accountability for teachers, students and staff is crucial. If cameras are placed inside the classroom, some teachers may not like the idea of being watched all day, but others will be overjoyed that there’s someone watching over them for protection.
The ability for administrators or even parents to really see what is happening in the classroom may be beneficial. It can also help to put parents at ease. Many daycares already offer this type of surveillance, so why should schools be any different? The ability to check in on children throughout the day can help keep parents in the loop and at ease.
Additionally, students will be held more accountable for their behavior and discipline issues may decrease. Video surveillance inside the classroom can be an excellent tool for teachers’ classroom management strategies. While constant video surveillance may be intimidating at first, it’s a great way to help teachers, parents and students feel more secure.
Important Considerations When Searching for a Solution
When deciding what level of video surveillance is best for your school, there are some important things to consider.
First, you will need to consider your budget. The i2c Technologies team can help you determine what solution will work best to meet the physical and financial needs of your school or college campus. We specialize in designing and installing security cameras, video surveillance and access control systems that fit within your budget. Schools can also apply for special funds or grants to help offset the cost of security solutions. Talk to us about your options!
FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act)
If your school decides to implement security footage, you will need to create a plan that is in line with FERPA guidelines. Any recorded material would need to be stored appropriately. By law, students and parents would be able to inspect the footage as well. Be sure to discuss all information regarding FERPA and security footage with the school district lawyer.
Finding a Happy Medium for School Security
Whether you are for or against surveillance in schools, it’s important to remember that all parties want the same thing—for children to be safe and secure in schools. Taking the main points of concern from both sides of the argument can be effective in creating the best solution for your school community.
Some ideas for finding the “happy medium” may include utilizing only video footage with no sound. This would allow teachers and students a certain level of privacy while still giving administration or security the ability to ensure all school spaces are safe.
Another effective solution is to only monitor certain areas of the campus, such as key entry points, hallways and common gathering areas. This solution would allow learning spaces to remain unobstructed while still providing enhanced security for crucial areas.
School security systems are vital to maintaining safe campuses, but it’s up to the school districts and communities to decide how much security is necessary. Be sure to contact our school security experts at i2c Technologies to explore your options. We’re ready to help!