I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Using CCTV to Foster Better Discipline, Redux

Last month at the School Board's discussion workshop, I discussed the idea of having cameras in the classroom to bolster security, enhance and improve student behavior, and to improve the overall learning environment.

The reaction I got was very lukewarm... no money was the rationale from the administration, and my colleagues were not enthused about the idea.

Fast forward a month, and we see all the fallout from Ferguson, MO, and NYC with the Eric Garner case, and the push for cameras for police--and I decided to bring the idea again.  I reiterated at the meeting the following important point.  We have utilized CCTV systems throughout the district to enhance security, we utilize CCTV on busses with great impact (to protect both students and employees and to maintain behavior), and now we are including the use of CCTV systems in school cafeterias to improve behavior--it is even written into the behavior management plan for Woodham MS.

So why the resistance to cameras in classrooms?

Others are doing it.  Fayeteville, NC is installing cameras to foster better discipline.  From The Citizen:

"The advantage of the teacher-controlled system is two-fold, staff said. It will allow a teacher to video a classroom lesson to increase professional learning and it will serve as a system to alert school staff and others to behavioral or other issues that require a quick response...The system “provides a ‘natural view’ of the student in the classroom if their behavior is a concern. This type of natural view has the added possibility of assisting educators with response to interventions. If there is a behavior disruption which is serious, the teacher can press the alert/panic button and help is much faster to arrive because of the immediate notification to the front office and or administrators."

Like it or not the future is coming, and cameras are the future and cameras protect students and teachers.  I'm going to keep bringing this idea, because I strongly believe it will help teachers and schools improve the learning environment----and it is coming sooner or later so we may as well get ahead of it.


Gulagathon said...

The cameras can be good especially if they are used to actually help the teacher, and not used to just critique the teachers classroom management all of the time which brings down a teachers confidence if there is always something negative to say, and nothing to help. Of course a teacher has to be proficient, and gets some quality teaching done. But it has to be a healthy environment that can improve a teachers techniques from an empathetic place, and not from a dictatorial one. It has to be a team effort, not an effort to backstab the teacher.

The cameras can be good because sometimes there may be an incident in the class that the teacher may not see, like a student hitting another student when the teacher isn't looking. Or a student throwing something when the teacher isn't looking. The teacher can also look at the videos to work on their classroom strategies, and here and there someone who cares can help the teacher improve on certain classroom procedures by evaluating the video, but not to degrade the teacher, this would be to help in a humane caring way.

And kids do act more on guard when there's a camera in the room because they KNOW people are watching.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like one of those scenarios with good intentions but ineffective consequences. Sounds like a bunch of nannies. Sounds like big brother.