California School District Approves Surveillance Cameras


A school board in Northern California has voted to allow video surveillance cameras on campuses, bringing to a resolution several meetings’ worth of discussions on the topic, according to a newspaper report.

The New Haven Unified School District voted 4-1 recently to place cameras in common areas, such as around the perimeter of a school or in a quad, the Oakland Tribune reported. Cameras will not be permitted in locker rooms, restrooms, classrooms or other areas with a reasonable expectation of privacy.

All camera purchases and installations are expected to be paid for by the schools that choose to operate them, unless an agreement is worked out with the district. Individual schools also would shoulder the cost of ongoing maintenance.

Although some residents and parents expressed serious concern over the potential for invasion of privacy, supporters of the cameras say the equipment will deter vandalism, fights and other unlawful activities, the newspaper reported.

The recordings also would be used as evidence in the event of a crime, although they would not be used to create a gang database.

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