“Des Moines and other school districts already equip their school resource officers (police officers posted in the schools) with body cameras. Now Burlington school administrators have announced that they will start wearing body cameras during interactions with parents and students.
Body cameras in the schools are especially problematic. They allow school staff to invade student privacy at an increasingly intimate level — different than the overall monitoring of more open spaces. Body cameras present a real threat to students’ privacy and contribute to an environment in our schools of pervasive, intrusive surveillance.
Imagine the effect on an already shy student speaking up with a dissenting view in a political science class. Or teachers videotaping in locker rooms and restrooms — certainly places where more than a few scuffles or arguments can break out. We also have concerns about a principal recording students who come into his office. How is a student supposed to confide about the true nature of the problem with a camera trained steadily on him? There are also concerns about how long the footage is retained and who has access to it.”