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Monday, November 15, 2010

classroom surveillance

i read in the paper this morning about a high school football coach who has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations that he's abusive in the classroom as well as on the football field.
it's sparked a whole conversation about putting cameras in the classroom. bullying, false allegations about teachers, classroom disrupters, and the like are now unstoppable until we get surveillance systems.
cameras in the classroom? really?
have we really gotten to a point in our society that we can't take people's words about situations? that we can't control kids in classrooms? that bullying is becoming such a rampant problem that we need cameras?
while i agree that cameras would result in a reduction in classroom shenanigans, do we really need to slip down that slope? whatever happened to parental involvement?
even if we kept all recordings locked up in a safe and only brought them out after a written complaint that couldn't be resolved through normal channels… even if we didn't have situations where principals spent their days pouring over videos of classroom activities, how in the world would we absorb such an astronomical expense? because we all know that classrooms/hallways/gyms/auditoriums would require more than just the one camera… who/how in the world would the schools get the resources for such a beast?
and it's not just the expense. do we really want big brother in our school system?
what has happened in our society that we need to even consider such an idea?
i don't know. the whole idea just makes the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up. what about you?


  1. I agree 100% with you. That's just sad.

  2. I think what's happened is the exact opposite of your solution. Parents aren't involved enough. Trying to make ends meet in today's economy requires a lot more time than it did 10 years ago. Not that that's an excuse, it's just a fact. Plus, society is much more perverse all around!

    Honestly, I'm ok with it at first glance. I'd have to really think about it to make sure, but my initial thought is that, I'd like the idea of knowing that there was some sort of accountability going on in classrooms.

    Ironman had a substitute the other day and he said she yelled at them ALL DAY. I'd like to be able to say something to someone about that and see if it actually happened, or if she was just louder than his normal teacher etc. And then the whole lunch money thing he went through.

    Actually, maybe I'll just hire a camera to follow HIM around all day so I can make sure he's ok. haha.

    But yeah, I think I'm ok with that. If it can nip something in the butt (bud?) before it gets out of hand, I wonder if, going to the extreme, lives could be saved in the long run. Both figuratively and literally.

  3. As a teacher, I'm not sure what I think. Costwise, with all the cuts going on, this would be dumb. (Eloquent eh?)

    My main thought is if this guy was an abusive coach, why would kids go out for the team. An empty field/court would send a much clearer message than any class session video...

  4. Our school is supposed to have surveillance(sp) in the classroom and parking lots, but when my son's truck was scratched up - the camera wasn't working. When one boy was beat up in the parking lot, the camera wasn't working. And then, the parent is not allowed to see the video if their kid was beat because of privacy issues for the one who beat them.

    While cameras seem like they have the potential to clear up a lot of issues, too many things prevent them from being used effectively!

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