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Why I Believe Classrooms Should Be Fitted With Video Cameras

 

 

I know I’m alone on this one.

My colleagues have let me know in no uncertain terms that I must have rocks in my head for supporting such an initiative, but it is my position that we would be better off having our lessons filmed by cctv cameras.

One interesting point from the recent Barb Williams story (video available above) is how brilliant it was that there were cameras in the hallways capturing her unacceptable treatment of the young child. What if there was no footage? How then, would we have drawn attention to her actions?

The following are reasons for my position regarding cameras in the classroom:

1. Why shouldn’t improper actions by teachers be uncovered? If you are a good, or even an adequate teacher you have nothing to worry about, but if you are a danger to your students or you are inappropriate, you will be caught and sanctioned accordingly.

2. There are rising concerns over false reporting of teacher abuse. Cameras in the classrooms will deter students from making up or exaggerating stories and there will be proof for those that have a valid case. Documentary evidence will prevent the difficult situation of “his word against mine.”

3. This initiative will deter students from misbehaving and will also deter teachers from making poor decisions.

4. Some will talk about the need for privacy. Who needs privacy? Privacy from whom? This isn’t going to be streamed on the net, it is going to be available to superiors who will use it to protect those that are entitled to protection.

5. Teachers wont like it, but our primary focus is the wellbeing of our students. When analysing the benefits of any education initiative, the impact it would have on students is paramount. If this will protect vulnerable students surely its worthwhile regardless of what teachers think.

6. This would be extremely effective in regards to children with disabilities and others that wouldn’t be able to properly convey a case of impropriety against a teacher.

 

I realise I am alone on this one but I can’t help but think of all the cases of abuse that we are unaware of because it goes unreported or cannot be proven.

 

Click on the link to read Are We Doing Enough to Make Our Children Happy?

Click on the link to read Why Getting Our Kids to Toughen Up is a Flawed Theory
Click on the link to read  Stop Pretending and Start Acting!

Click on the link to read  Some Principals Seem to Be Ignorant About Bullying

Click on the link to read Teaching Kids to be Competitive Often Leads to Needless Pain

 

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7 Responses to “Why I Believe Classrooms Should Be Fitted With Video Cameras”

  1. kedavis99 Says:

    Interesting idea, I’m honestly not sure how I feel about it. I’ve thought before about videoing certain lessons to review them but not having cameras in the classrooms like in the hallways. The only thing I’d say about your list is in my experience the presence of cameras in the hallways is forgotten in time and no longer deters misbehavior, I can recall several occasions where I’ve reminded students about the cameras to a shocked response. This may not be a bad thing though, if kids forget cameras are there, they are more likely to behave as normal and then we have the video proof. The problem is as other children are on the recording it can not be shown to parents, at least according to the laws where I am and if parents can’t see the recording they might be more inclined to argue. Still you’ve given me something to think about and I will thank you!

  2. John Tapscott Says:

    It is true that abuse occurs where perpetrators think they can’t be seen. Cameras in the classroom will make no difference for a teacher who does not abuse children. Those who do abuse children have no place in a classroom. In that case the presence of a camera will only cause the perpetrator to transfer his or her activities elsewhere. The evidence of a camera is not always accurate and sometimes what is seen on a camera may be explained by something else in the room the camera doesn’t see leading to a miscarriage of justice. Furthermore the presence of a camera may also cause the perpetrator to transfer his or her nefarious activities to a place where there are no cameras and no human witnesses, perhaps leading to greater abuse.

    Classrooms with open doors are a better solution. In many schools in Queensland the entire classroom is open to a public thoroughfare, a corridor where anyone and everyone passes through from time to time. As I walk down such corridors I can see every corner of the classroom and everyone in it.

    Having said this I recognise the value of cameras in public places that have the capacity to record the presence of missing persons, including criminals. They are a valuable tool. I believe that cameras in schools would only be a deterrent where they are placed.

    As we progress further down the path of becoming a police state something valuable, indeed precious, is being lost, in our society. We are getting to the point that nobody is trusted and nobody feels safe and the question has to be asked, who, then will police the policemen?

    Cameras may well be deployed in classrooms. It may make the classroom a safer place for vulnerable children. It won’t stop the abuse. It is likely to occur elsewhere, perhaps with more serious consequences for the victim.

    Everything possible must be done to prevent children from being abused. If we are unable to draw a line limiting collateral damage we may well end up having a cure much worse than the disease.

  3. John Tapscott Says:

    I just watched the video. It occurred to me that if it is possible to edit the film, it is then possible to fabricate or tamper with the evidence.

  4. Lynne Diligent Says:

    I’m a teacher of three decades and I agree with you completely.

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