A pen drive was stolen from a teacher’s computer in the year 1996. Within a few months in the same school, a teacher’s cell phone was stolen. The principal of the school known for his stringent disciplinary measures personally visited the server room to review the shots captured by the hidden closed-circuit cameras and was shocked. The discipline officer was called in hurry and the recorded clips of evidence shown as a serial. All the scenes when replayed showed a group of students of the senior school level who were constantly either a part of bullying or theft. The disciplinary officer called all the students involved with the incident into office and showed them the clips. The students were given two choices of either owning up to their crime or facing a disciplinary hearing which could result in an expulsion.
Knowing the implications of a disciplinary trial with their parents and lawyer present, the students opted to confess for their crime. The principal rusticated all three students on disciplinary grounds for an entire semester. The Closed Circuit TV System at Brooks High school was an asset. It had served the purpose of being installed as an unbiased accountable platform. In-fact installing a CCTV was a recent yet heavy investment that the school had made on the basis of frequent complaints from the children and staff that their personal belongings were being stolen from the school premises. The brighter side of school life was that the CCTV was also viewed as an ideal resource tool to identify and address students with behavioral problems.
Installing video surveillance cameras in the school is often aimed at preventing the students from stealing, causing damage to the school infrastructure, and preventing outsiders from entering the school campus. These cameras consist of an 50,000 $ worth of Analog system with CCTV monitors to million-dollar IP-based systems with digital surveillance cameras connected to a web network are usually placed at the entry doorway, the corridors, the staircases, common areas and parking lots and are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
School’s view it as a tool to monitor students with behavioral problems while school disciplinary committees view it to be a source of physical evidence when crimes do occur and assert that the installation of such cameras in specific places on the premises can curb crime. Though installing a video surveillance is a costly project, schools officials are of the opinion that it will surely prevent bullying, gang activity, fights vandalism, trespassing or theft. It is expected that a school makes a thorough inventory of their needs and security concerns before investing in them. Many school administrators feel that the CCTV’s carry with them the following benefits which include:
1 Providing the school officials with documentary proof on issues not otherwise available.
2 These hidden cameras have the inbuilt capacity of monitoring a set area in all angles.
3 The school security personnel can be kept busy with different jobs in other areas of the school.
4 It helps in addressing behavioral problems
5 It helps in checking the crime rates in schools
Security surveillance systems involve school officials a high maintenance cost and must be serviced at regular intervals to meet security challenges in an effective manner.
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