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Denebola » Article » No more secret security
Editorials and Opinions

No more secret security

By Denebola
Published: November 2008

Almost a year ago, Denebola reported the existence of secret security cameras installed at Newton South. These cameras, disguised as smoke detectors, were located at “hot spots for theft and vandalism around the building. Since then, the existing cameras were removed, both in response to public outrage and violation of Massachusetts fire regulations.

This past Monday, the School Committee passed a measure that allows Principal Brian Salzer and other Newton principals to opt for the installation of security cameras in their buildings. Under this policy, school officials would inform the community of the cameras’ presence after installation, but not of the cameras’ locations.

While Denebola acknowledges the need for cameras to ensure safety and security and to deter vandalism, we are concerned that this policy gives administrators the ability to make uninformed, unilateral decisions.

On this note, we believe that community involvement should be part of the decision to install cameras, something that is not part of the School Committee’s current policy. Also, the specific locations of cameras should be revealed along with announcement of their existence. Denebola trusts the judgment of Newton South’s central administration and hopes it will take these thoughts into consideration over the course of the security policy’s implementation.

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