School Cameras – Help or hinder?
Over the years, the debate over privacy versus safety has been a hot topic when schools decide to install cameras. Bullying, drugs, and similar concerns are always a discussion in parent meetings. Do the proverbial eyes in the sky interfere with teachers and students’ expectation of privacy?
1. Kids will be kids – Passing notes in school, sharing things from home, and kids enjoying their free time from education have been around since Laura Ingalls. Kids need this interaction to develop their social skills. Preparation for adult life begins over bagged lunches and cooked pizza (no offense to the lunch lady). However, when cliques become more than friendly talk and morph into bullying, it is important to get the story straight. There are always three versions to every story: one side, the other side, and the truth. Passionate opinions sometimes become very true in the eyes of a child. The truth can be hard to see; that is until you roll the video footage. This footage weeds out innocent children, caught in the crossfire, and allows faculty to see how the incident occurred. None of us want to be wrongfully accused. Cameras can clarify what occurred.
2. Is the school drug free? – Recently, fifty million in various drugs were removed from Polk County by various branches of law enforcement. While our schools have measures in place to prevent drugs, drug dealers are always looking for new ways in. The proper cameras in the correct areas not only provide a visual deterrent but can also catch an act in progress. Good video footage also provides proof, so the district attorney has solid evidence to put the drug dealers away! Again, it also prevents an innocent person from a wrongful accusation.
3. Let the police in, off site – One of the largest mass shootings in Florida, had over ninety video cameras installed on site. Unfortunately, many of the cameras were not working. And most of the live cameras had delayed footage, causing law enforcement to go to the wrong area. Having a camera system that notifies security or an IT manager when there is a problem is of upmost importance. Why install a camera system if the footage is gone when you need it? Good recording devices are necessary to prevent mass loss of footage. It is also a good idea to have a way to give law enforcement immediate access to real time video surveillance in the school. If an incident occurs, law enforcement needs to see what is going on to make the best plan of action for the safety of our children and loved ones.
If you are interested in a verified camera system for your school that you can rely on in a time of uncertainty or crisis and would like a professional assessment, give Sonitrol of Polk County a call (800) 444-1191.