Benefits of Security Cameras in Schools: Safety & Learning

5 Pros of Security Cameras in Schools

School administrators and staff have many responsibilities, and there is no doubt that student safety is a top priority.

To keep students safe, schools must have the proper security systems in place to protect them from everyday problems and incidents such as natural disasters or unthinkable events like active shooter situations. It’s a difficult job, and parental and societal concerns have increased.

In response to these challenges, schools increasingly use security cameras to mitigate these risks and maintain safety. 

In this article, we’ll cover the five key benefits of video surveillance cameras in schools and share some practical examples of how schools use them to improve safety and deter crime.


Top 5 Advantages of Security Cameras in Schools

1. Security Cameras Improve Access Control

School entrace access point.

The protection of students and teachers starts with seeing who enters and leaves the grounds, ensuring that they have proper authorization and are not trespassing on the school premises.

Most schools have multiple access points, making tracking unauthorized entries and suspicious activities challenging. Gone are the days when schools used to rely on the local janitor to manage physical keys.

Access control means securing the perimeter of the school’s property, including each point of entry. Preventing unauthorized access with a traditional lock and key system is not the best option for schools.

Although access control systems are essential, combining them with security cameras allows school administrators to: 

  • Monitor all entry points in a centralized manner during school hours.
  • Obtain a visual record of who is entering and exiting the school property.
  • Remotely monitored events in real-time or later with recorded footage.

2. Crime Prevention

School hallway lockers crime.

During the 2017–18 school year, 80 percent of public schools recorded that one or more incidents of violence, theft, or other crimes had taken place, amounting to 1.4 million incidents.

Contrary to popular belief, the greatest threat to the safety of schools is not an active shooter event. In the 2018-2019 school year, only 6% of all incidents involved a school shooting.

School violence, aggressive behavior, vandalism, gang activity, bullying, and theft are more common events that not only interfere with academic achievement but also put massive pressure on schools.

An elementary school in Florida kept being vandalized. After months of failed attempts to stop or catch the criminals, the school district upgraded its security. Florida has experienced its share of crime rates, and addressing security concerns in schools is vital to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff.

Schools and other institutions need to be aware of security camera laws in Florida, which regulate the use of surveillance cameras to maintain a balance between safety and privacy concerns.

School security cameras may help deter crime since bullet cameras and video surveillance will be on the school grounds and the rest of the school premises.

3. Security Cameras Support Student Safety

Security cameras support student safety

In 2017, around 827,000 students ages 12 to 18 became victims of non-violent crimes within their school campus.

Private and public schools have a critical duty to ensure the safety of their students and teachers while on school grounds.

While we all hope nothing ever goes wrong, schools are not immune to safety and security risks.

Security cameras help keep students safe and have numerous benefits that support security and safety on school premises.

4. Security Cameras Support Teacher Safety

Teachers are on the front line of school security. They deserve a safe and positive work environment where they can focus on their students without worrying about their security.

Security cameras support teacher safety

In addition to all the challenges teachers were already facing, the pandemic added new health and safety concerns that require attention.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, many schools are considering high-tech security products, including thermal security cameras that can take student temperatures.

There may be privacy concerns about installing a video surveillance system in locker rooms and employee lounges. Still, these security cameras provide many benefits to the safety and security of students and teachers.

As a solution for this concern, instead of dome cameras or bullet cameras, school districts can use motion sensors, audio detectors, or vaping sensors.

5. Security Cameras Assist in Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness means having a system to prevent, prepare, respond, and recover from emergencies caused by natural disasters and unthinkable events such as active shooter scenarios.

School security cameras combined with well-trained security staff are an effective way to ensure the facility is ready for various emergency situations.

Security cameras assist in emergency preparedness

Security cameras provide schools with the ability to respond to emergencies and give parents peace of mind.

Security cameras that provide schools access to centralized video footage allow them to find incidents of interest quickly and, more importantly, share this footage with authorities. This combination gives schools the best chance at quick, safe, calm emergency resolution.

Pros & Cons of Security Cameras in School

PROSCONS
1. Improved access control
2. Crime prevention
3. Student safety
4. Teacher safety
5 Emergency preparedness
1. Potential legal and privacy concerns.
2. Can cause friction if not integrated properly.
3. Financial constraints may limit a school’s ability to purchase effective systems.

Advantages of Having CCTV Cameras in Schools

A video surveillance system improves a school’s security program in many ways. It enhances the way school officials can communicate and coordinate security plans. It also helps to deter potential external as well as internal threats.

Although using security cameras in classrooms remains somewhat controversial, most educators support using communal spaces such as hallways, cafeterias, and entranceways as part of the security plan.

Schools often need help to implement their security cameras transparently and professionally. That’s why it is crucial to work with professional security integrators who understand all the ins and outs of installing school security systems.

School Security Cameras Help Identify Risks

Far too many tragedies have made it clear that schools are always at risk of an incident. For school administrators, security cameras are an indispensable safety tool.

While active shooter incidents rightfully get most of the media’s attention, school administrators have to deal with many other safety and security challenges.

School hallway security camera.

Security cameras can help not only keep students safe but they can also be used to identify high-risk areas on the school premises.

  • Monitoring entrances and exits: Entrance and exit points are vulnerable, so having an eye on them is essential to safety.
  • Monitoring potential risk areas: Monitoring hallways and corridors is crucial to maintaining proper security. If any event occurs, tapping into the security camera system and bullet cameras remotely will aid law enforcement.

It Helps Improve Visitor Management

School main entrance visitor screening.

Today’s modern schools are opting for smart electronic solutions that facilitate the check-in process and provide digital records.

Security cameras can effectively monitor all access points using facial recognition and respond appropriately to any given situation. That is why more and more schools are integrating security cameras into their safety program.

Considering today’s threat environment, it makes sense to integrate access control systems with security cameras. Combining them helps generate actionable video data, thus strengthening the school’s security posture.

Security Camera Systems Can Monitor School Parking Lots

Parking lots, in general, are the third most common place where crimes occur, with nearly 1,400 violent crimes committed each day. Most schools in the United States have parking lots for students and teachers to use as a convenient way to enter and exit campus.

Since this is one of the busiest and highest safety risks for schools, it makes sense to use security cameras to monitor this area. It is accurate from both a safety as well as an operational perspective.

Positive Impacts of Installing Security Cameras in Schools

Placing security cameras in strategic areas is an effective way to deter crime. Criminals always look for cameras; their top priority is avoiding being captured. Security cameras placed on and around the campus and its perimeter provide schools with many advantages, including:

  • Monitoring entrances to ensure only authorized students, staff, and visitors obtain access.
  • It prevents vandalism.
  • It protects students, teachers, and staff members.
  • It improves security awareness.

The benefits of getting them in schools become apparent when you see how security cameras can transform a high-risk area into a safe environment.

When security cameras are placed in plain sight and the right location, studies have shown that they reduce criminal activity and promote a sense of security. 

Security cameras in parking lots also assist with the following:

  • Crime prevention: Visible security cameras help to deter thieves from breaking into cars, especially video surveillance cameras with facial recognition.
  • Investigations: Archived video surveillance footage can be used to identify individuals who have committed crimes or breached school policies.
  • Security awarenessParking lot security cameras are an important piece of any security awareness program that seeks to detect and deter crimes before they happen.

Why Do You Need Security Cameras in Schools?

School security cameras offer students, staff, and parents support and reassurance that few tools can deliver.

With modern security cameras, a facility can take a proactive approach to security. School security cameras improve a school’s ability to detect issues and respond to them much more efficiently.

School security camera.

Various reports and case studies have shown that having a video surveillance system can deter significant crime.

The University of North Carolina found that half of all the surveyed burglars would flee the area after discovering cameras.

There is a reason why over 80 percent of public schools and 95 percent of high schools in the U.S. have security cameras.

The Oregon City School system is a good example. The district recently announced that they are expanding their state-of-the-art security camera system.

Oregon school security camera.

Currently, more than 100 security cameras on Clay High School’s campus cover both the interior and exterior of the campus. It is the largest district in Oregon in terms of student population size.

Authorized staff members such as the principal, assistant principal, or resource officer can access the live camera footage from anywhere. Video surveillance can also be viewed at the Oregon Police Division’s dispatch center to track a person’s movements.

Cloud-Based Security Cameras Help During Emergencies

Cloud connectivity does more than stream recorded footage. With cloud-based cameras, schools can access the live camera feed at any time, and more importantly, they can share their video surveillance feed with local law enforcement during emergencies.

School security survillance center.

Partnerships between school districts and local law enforcement agencies are making it easier to spot intruders or focus on emergencies should they arise. An excellent example of this implementation is in the Middleton-Cross Plains School District.

Their cloud-based security system enables police to tap into its live video surveillance feed and communicate in emergencies like a fire or an active shooter. The school district has over 400 cameras districtwide, and law enforcement has access to all of them at any time.

School Security Cameras Recommendations

General Coverage & Visibility: Consider entry-level dome cameras for comprehensive coverage and visibility throughout the campus.

Classrooms & Entryways: High-traffic areas like classrooms and entryways benefit from dome or bullet cameras with a 5MP or higher image sensor.

Hallways & Corridors: Use fisheye cameras for monitoring long, narrow spaces like hallways. These cameras offer panoramic 360° or 180° views.

Gyms, Cafeterias, & Auditoriums: Large, open spaces like gyms, cafeterias, and auditoriums are best serve by fisheye security cameras.

Parking Lots & Sports Fields: Outdoor areas require security cameras with long-distance capabilities and powerful zoom.

FAQs

What is the purpose of CCTV in schools?

CCTV in schools aims to create a safer and more secure learning environment for students, staff, and visitors while providing valuable tools for incident prevention and management.

Video surveillance allows staff and administrators to monitor various areas in real-time, including entrances, hallways, and common areas.

Can security cameras improve overall school discipline?

While security cameras are not a standalone solution for maintaining discipline, they play a valuable role in promoting a respectful and rule-abiding school environment. 

They contribute to a safer and more orderly learning environment when used in conjunction with school rules.

Conclusion

Security cameras in schools will remain an important issue for years to come, but having security cameras that can monitor strategic areas protects students and improves the school’s overall safety.

Security camera systems have proven their effectiveness in various school settings. They are cost-effective, simple to operate, and can be used in various ways.  

While schools consider the potential downside of school security cameras, like privacy concerns, five benefits of security cameras have proven effective in school environments.

Installing security cameras helps improve access control, crime prevention, student and teacher safety, and emergency preparedness.

Schools can get the most out of their security cameras combined with other systems, such as access control and intercom communication systems.

Although security cameras have many advantages, school administrators will be better served by partnering with a reputable security firm that provides reliable information and exceptional support.

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