Should Schools Install Security Cameras?

December 4th, 2018



Security cameras have become a necessity in the public domain. Not only do the cameras help track down criminals, but they can also provide a deterrence to criminal activities. Since video surveillance can reduce crimes rates when used in businesses and homes, the question of whether or not to use security cameras in schools is a hot topic of discussion.

High Crime Rates In Today’s Schools

It might be surprising to learn that crime is an ongoing issue in many schools today. American schools have seen an increase in both petty and violent crimes such as:

Theft

Vandalism

Bullying

Drug abuse

Stabbings

It is estimated that there is one crime committed for every 20 students in the nation, which creates a dangerous ratio reflecting that poor state of school security in America. There is a thin line, however, that school administrators must walk when it comes to providing security for students and protecting their privacy.

Cost is also an issue that many school systems must consider. Some of the high-end security cameras can push a school well over budget once installation and maintenance fees are configured. When it comes to lowering the crime rate to provide safety to the students who attend the school, security cameras can be seen as a cost-effective solution in the long-term.

Right To Privacy

People are very emotive when it comes to the privacy rights of students, and this has caused some major protests against the installation of security cameras in schools. Many parents feel that the cameras give students an uneasy feeling of being watched, leading to an atmosphere of fear. Some believe that security cameras are not effective if they cannot be placed in locker rooms where many crimes in schools occur. Those who advocate for privacy rights also argue that putting kids under constant surveillance can necessitate more police action inside the school. This can lead to dangerous trends if police are taken away from daily public functioning to investigate everyday school crimes. 

Finding Success

Despite all of the challenges, some schools have been successful with installing security cameras; and the feedback has been positive. It is the duty of the school to ensure the safety of the students, and it is the opinion of parents and the students themselves that make a difference in how well the system works. Currently, there are no concrete laws concerning the use of security cameras in schools, but many parents support the use of them as long as certain guarantees can be met. They key is to keep open lines of communication between all stakeholders before making the final decision.