Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Why teachers fear a security camera in their classroom

I am finishing up my first blog for about the use of security cameras in the classroom and the fear by educators that administrators will abuse them. My wife, Jackie, is a 29-year school veteran who believes that some administrators will abuse the use of the cameras to monitor teaching performance. And, she's right. Some principals could use a simple security camera's video to discipline a teacher for a myriad of reasons.

However, school discipline today has eroded considerably that a security camera is needed. It can easily document a bully pushing the 98-pound weakling in class when the teacher is looking at another part of the class. When Bubba bloodys another child's nose, the principal can show the video clip to his parents as his reason for detention or other forms of school discipline.

I believe that school district superintendents and their school boards must craft a policy that authorizes the use of security cameras only for enforcing student discipline. The local school boards must also mandate that principals and other school administrators can't use these cameras to monitor a teacher's performance. Instead, their school administraff staff have to use a little shoe leather to truly evaluate how their teachers are performing in the classroom.

As one of my clients, MiCorp, is helping school districts in Texas upgrade their technology with the E-Rate funding program, school districts will want to add security cameras into the classroom. By helping educate administrators and school boards on the legitimate fear by teachers of the security camera in the classroom, I hope that districts will take the time to put together an effective policy on their use.

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