“Security cameras should be placed in schools”. Do you agree?
Recently, there has been a great deal of controversy about placing surveillance systems in schools. Some schools administrators install them in hopes of preventing and discouraging bad behavior and crime. As far as I am concerned, the disadvantages of security cameras considerably outweigh the advantages.
To start with, the placement of security cameras in schools is an invasion of privacy. Cameras cannot be used in areas where the students or staff members expect to have privacy, such as in a bathroom or locker room. It is needless to say that most, if not all illegal activities, for instance illegal drugs, bullying, occur in those private areas. Another consideration is how the presence of a security camera impacts in the students’ self-esteem and morale. Cameras can be perceived as intrusive and create an environment of distrust, which may create problems instead of preventing them. If pupils believe that they are not trusted and more restrictions are imposed on them, they will become more divided and less focused on their studies.
Secondly, there is a concern that administrators and teachers could use security cameras for other purposes, especially for profiling students. If a security camera is used to target youngsters who look different from the norm, because of their sexual orientation, race or religion, this is a violation of the students’ rights.
Finally, the cost of purchasing and installing surveillance systems can be quite expensive. Moreover, in order to maintain, operate and monitor them, the expenses increase, as additional staff members should be hired. Many people claim that janitors or administrative personnel should watch the cameras, but they cannot focus on their job while watching security cameras all day.
It must be admitted, however, that the installation of security cameras in schools is a deterrent of crime. In other words, due to security surveillance, the acts of violence, as well the unauthorized entry of people, have reduced. Furthermore, teenagers who bullyor harass other students, can be disciplined based on video records.
Taking everything into consideration, it is my opinion that the issue of security cameras will continue to rage for many more years. Safety will always be everyone’s paramount concern. The pursuit of safety, however, should not be at the violation of the basic human rights to privacy and free speech.