Security Cameras on Campus – Pros and Cons

A school staff is discussing the pros and cons of installing cameras on campus. What are some of the things they need to consider?

Note: The question of whether or not cameras should be installed in classrooms is complex. All stakeholders in the school community should be given the opportunity to weigh in on why this is (or is not) a good idea. There are legal, social, emotional, and instructional pros and cons. The articles listed below were selected to help begin the conversation but are by no means a comprehensive review of all issues, nor is this meant to offer legal advice. Articles published by companies that offer security services are not included here.


Read this article: Know the legal ins and outs to avoid (over)exposure from District Administration.

Discuss the following questions:

What is the purpose for installing cameras in classrooms and where would they be located?

How will cameras impact security on campus and what laws cover electronic surveillance?

What are the student and staff privacy issues that must be addressed and how does FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)impact use of cameras?

Do parents and law enforcement officers have the right to view surveillance videos?

Are surveillance videos subject to open records laws? Why or why not?

What policies need to be in place?

Create one of the following

Brainstorm a list of the pros and cons of using security cameras on campus as part of a campus security plan.

Prepare a statement (2 – 3 paragraphs) about the ethical concerns related to use of security cameras on school campuses.

Additional Resources

Top Stories from 2018: 3 questions about the use of cameras in classrooms, TrustED

Security cameras in classrooms: The debate continues, MultiBriefs

Surveillance Cameras: Violation of Rights or Improved Security?, Public School Review

Cameras in the Classroom. Is Big Brother Evaluating You?, NEA

States require cameras in special ed classrooms, District Administration

Update on Video Cameras in Special Education Classrooms, Texas Assoc. of School Boards

Use of Security Cameras and Surveillance in Schools Best Practices, ASCIP

Workshop Scenarios