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Denebola » Article » Turn off the cameras
Editorials and Opinions

Turn off the cameras

By Shakti Nochur
Published: December 2007

Opposing Viewpoints: CON
Allow Cameras?

By Shakti Nochur

Nobody likes the idea of being watched by somebody without their knowledge. Unfortunately, that seems to be what administrators had in mind when they allowed cameras hidden as smoke detectors to be installed over the summer.Inserting hidden security cameras is by no means the way to protect our school.

By not informing students about the existence and positioning of these cameras, security at South was hoping that if and when a crime (whether it be theft or something more severe) occurred, they would be able to deal with the situation accordingly given the footage taken from the cameras.

This, however, fails to deal with the greater problem behind crime in high schools: why it is happening in the first place and what can be done to deter it. The proper way to deal with crime in the school environment is to provide adequate counseling and education. While this may sound as though it is steering away from more severe and concrete measures, these are the only efforts that can be taken to prevent crime before it happens.

Hidden cameras only handle the situation after the fact. Preventative measures other than cameras are far more important than punishing the guilty student after the crime has been committed.

Cameras have not been proven to prevent crimes. London has 10,000 cameras, but according to The Times of London, researchers have found that the cameras prevented crime in only one of 14 locations studied. Furthermore, researchers have found that police in London are no more likely to solve a crime in areas with cameras as compared with areas without cameras. With regard to the continued theft that seems to be going on at South (especially from the girls’ locker room), the school should not be as concerned with catching the culprits as they should be with questioning why these culprits are stealing in the first place.

While I am not advocating the existence of cameras in our hallways, the least that South could have done, if they were absolutely necessary, is inform the students before their installation.

Ultimately, however, these cameras are not necessary or justified at South. Considering the competitive and often stressful environment that many students face, the school ought to offer proper counseling to help kids who may be inclined to commit crimes. The answer to crime in schools is not watching students behind their backs, it is to deal with the issue head on and communicate.

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