They see everything, they record everything, and they don’t miss details.
This article is a brief discussion about whether CCTV cameras should be used in schools or not
On one hand we agree that CCTV cameras are an invasion of privacy (especially when put in places like washrooms). Everything is recorded and can easily reach the hands of someone with ill intentions. Do you wonder about this and think to yourself, *what about privacy?*
Let us talk about privacy.
Most students, and even teachers for that matter, would not be too keen on having each and every step and movement of theirs show up on a screen somewhere in the Principal’s office.
Currently, privacy is one of the fundamental rights that The Constitution of India is providing its citizens with. When one starts to think more and more about these things, they realise minute, but extremely important, details that they overlook in their day-to-day life. The trust or faith that we had in others has completely vanished. We can only think of the worst-case scenarios and to prevent them, we believe we must always keep an eye on others.
On they other hand, CCTV cameras are put up for our own safety.
In light of recent events, the question arises, is a single CCTV camera so harmful?
They will only capture the truth. After all, one shouldn’t be so afraid of being caught on camera, unless they are doing anything wrong (right?).
Can the fear of being caught, stop someone from committing a crime? If so, then what is so unsettling about them? Just creating this fear can prevent many crimes. This shows what people are most concerned about: instead of knowing what is right and wrong and which they should do, they think of what would happen if they were caught by others.
However, everything should be implemented within moderation; while putting CCTV cameras in corridors and near gates would be beneficial, having one in each and every classroom might have unprecedented consequences. It could make teachers and students extremely paranoid and prove to be a distraction to normal classes. Further, since it would almost always be beyond the school’s resources to efficiently and constantly monitor all the cameras placed in so many locations, installing them would be a fruitless exercise. If we are giving up our privacy for our safety and no beneficial results are visible, then what is the point?
Schools need to strategically identify locations where putting up CCTV cameras would be most helpful, and make sure that these function properly, the video tapes are supervised, and the recordings are stored for future reference. Moreover, CCTV footage should be handled by someone responsible, otherwise both our safety and our privacy is compromised.
CCTVs can’t be the only safety mechanism in schools, either. The recent case of murder in Ryan School, for instance, took place in a washroom, where no camera could’ve been placed. So, it is important for schools to devise a well-thought out safety and security plan–of which CCTVs are only one aspect.
I will now leave you with a question to be answered:
Is your need for privacy greater than your desire for safety?
Want to express your views on the topic? Leave your answers, questions and suggestions down in the comments.
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