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Bathroom cameras a dilemma for school, parents

Tuesday, November 28, 2017
 | 
Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

ceiling-mounted video cameraVideo surveillance in school bathrooms, while intended to provide security for students, are in fact intruding on their privacy – so says the president of the Pacific Justice Institute.

Late last month, a high school in Colorado activated surveillance cameras inside four student restrooms, raising the ire of students and parents. Officials with Windsor Charter Academy near Greeley say they're taking the step to improve student safety by monitoring those entering and leaving the bathrooms. Roughly three weeks before the cameras were brought online, signs were posted to inform students the area was under video surveillance.

Attorney Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute, however, says this is yet another example of intrusion into the privacy of individuals.

"If a school had a real history of kids being beaten up or attacked in the bathroom, some kind of video cameras or surveillance might then be right for discussion," he tells OneNewsNow, "but not when we have no past history of this taking place."

The executive director of Windsor Charter Academy Schools confirmed with a Greeley newspaper that students' parents had not been notified about the cameras. Dacus argues that by doing this, the charter school is breaking trust with those parents.

Dacus, Brad (PJI)"Effective public education, including a charter school, must have parental trust," he says. "The fact of the matter is putting cameras in their children's bathroom breaches that trust."

School officials point out that the bathroom stalls extend from floor to ceiling and that the cameras only point at the wash stations, which they consider to be a public space. Still, says The Greeley Tribune, some students feel uncomfortable enough with the cameras that they cover them with tape. One school family has stated they plan to work to have the cameras taken down – even to the point of taking legal action.

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