School Video Surveillance Policy

How does the school video surveillance policy work?

A school video surveillance policy is designed to make certain the legal and professional use of video surveillance cameras in accordance with school security standards. It reflects how and when an authorized person can view and control video surveillance systems. Such policies put certain restrictions regarding the privacy of students and the adherence of accepted social norms.

The policy should include reasonable procedures to preserve data related to any incident, including the violation of school security standards. In general, a school video surveillance policy must cover the issues of privacy, fair disclosure and appropriate use of surveillance systems. As with any security regulation, this policy ensures the safety of students and school property.

school video surveillance policy

What is the school security camera policy?

Every district should have a clearly established school security camera policy to address the effective use of security cameras on campus. This policy should clearly state that the recorded footage may be presented to the law enforcement agencies as part of investigation purposes. An effective school security camera policy must guarantee the privacy of students and other school staff. The policy should be designed in a way that it complies with overall school security standards.

All security cameras subject to this policy will be listed in a database maintained by higher authorities. Any existing security cameras or surveillance systems must be brought into compliance with this policy. To control the unauthorized use of security cameras, they must be placed in a secure location and configured to prevent unauthorized access, duplication or modification.

Who should be notified of the school security camera policy? 

With respect to the school security camera policy, it is imperative to inform students, teachers and parents about the procedures and approvals within this regulation. It should be clear that videos and audios recorded through the school security cameras may be used as proof to assist inquiries.

Students and staff can be notified through visible signs stating that “school district buildings and grounds are equipped with electronic surveillance for the safety of students, staff and visitors. Your actions may be recorded and preserved.”

What should a school surveillance policy cover?

The school surveillance policy is a great tool to ensure the safety and security of students, faculty and visitors. It regulates the use of CCTV cameras and video surveillance cameras used to monitor schools in ethical and legal terms. However, here we have enlisted some crucial points that a school surveillance policy must cover.

Address privacy issues

A school video surveillance policy must not allow monitoring of areas that are private or where there is any reasonable expectation of privacy. These areas may include restrooms, changing rooms or locker rooms. No one should be allowed to record any confidential information without the consent of the parties involved. Any violation of this policy will be seriously dealt with in accordance with applicable university procedures.

Authorized use of video camera surveillance

Controlled and limited access to surveillance cameras must be a top priority of the school video surveillance policy. Only authorized personnel, as determined by the school, should be permitted to access cameras and footage. Based on school security standards, password protected access should be limited to specific school staff or safety managers. The policy should keep the recorded material confidential from the general public, respecting the privacy of individuals. 

Avoid unnecessary intrusions

Based on the school video surveillance policy, the security and surveillance cameras must be used in a way to avoid unnecessary intrusions. There should be no intervention in academic freedom of students, their privacy and freedom of speech. This will ultimately aid in professional and ethical use of surveillance cameras.

Appropriate and prohibited use 

The school video surveillance policy should strictly prohibit unauthorized individuals or groups from accessing security cameras and recordings. Data stored in the cameras should not be accessed or disclosed to anyone except as outlined by the policy. Only authorized people should be allowed to use surveillance cameras for monitoring individuals in and around the campus.

Storage of recorded material 

Accordingly, storage and release of the recorded material is very important. The policy can help devise procedures to keep the recorded material safe and sound following school security standards.

Release of recorded material

Security regulations only allow the release of information to the people recognized by the school policy. It’s important to note that the release of information must not breach any individual’s privacy. Only the required material should be released, keeping confidentiality intact.

school video surveillance policy

Do schools use a CCTV policy?

As schools use CCTV cameras in various locations in and around the campus for security purposes, they need a CCTV policy as well. This is needed to ensure professional use of CCTV cameras. If schools use CCTV cameras, they must adhere to the codes of conduct as illustrated by the policy.

Along with this, a CCTV policy must be clear on whether individuals are being recorded or not, or where they are being recorded. The CCTV policy can be used to safeguard and protect schools and individuals within the premises. Additionally, it can be used to collect any substantial evidence required to support legal investigations.

Is it legal for your school to watch you on camera?

It is legal for schools to watch students on cameras as long as they are not invading their privacy. The security cameras and surveillance systems should not be installed in the areas where privacy is needed in accordance with the accepted social norms.

What are some regulations in place for access to surveillance recordings?

The access to surveillance recordings and information is strictly limited to authorized personnel. These may include employees, third parties that have requested access, parents, and subpoenas. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FEPRA) allows parents access to a child’s education record and control over the disclosure of information. No other students, staff members or visitors shall be allowed to access surveillance recordings.

Where can security cameras be placed at schools?

As much as the access and storage of security cameras in schools is important, their placement is also very important. According to the school security camera policy, security cameras can be placed at main entrances, campus exits, near storage areas and lockers, parking lots, conference rooms, playgrounds, classrooms, hallways, recreational facilities and cafeterias. However, security cameras must be installed and utilized strictly for the purpose of safety and security of individuals.

What are some unlikely and unacceptable school camera placements?

There are some places in which the use of security cameras is highly unacceptable. These include restrooms, private dorms, lockers, changing rooms and staff offices. Security cameras are used solely for the school’s security needs and monitoring purposes. A camera placement breaching an individual’s privacy is unacceptable under any circumstance.

Management and operations of video surveillance systems

Duties of video surveillance operators 

The school video surveillance operators will be trained to use cameras legally and ethically. They will be informed about the technical uses of security cameras. They will provide acknowledgement that they have understood the school video surveillance policy. The operators will then perform their duties in accordance with the policy. Furthermore, video surveillance operators will access the footage to the extent permitted by the policy.

What are video surveillance operators prohibited from?

Though the school video surveillance policy allows operators to view footage for improved security measures, there still are some prohibitions involved. Video surveillance operators cannot monitor students on the basis of personal characteristics such as race, gender, ethnicity or disability. They are also prohibited from monitoring any intimate behavior or using any other video surveillance systems or surveillance images that are inconsistent with this policy.

school video surveillance policy

What are some recommendations for the use of security cameras and surveillance in schools?

The Alliance of Schools for Cooperative Insurance Programs (ASCIP) provides recommendations regarding the use of security cameras and surveillance in schools. 

  1. Districts must ensure they have a well-formed school video surveillance policy in accordance with school security standards. The policy shall be made keeping in view the privacy limitations of individuals. 
  2. It is highly advised to post signage at the entrance and exit points of the campus. Additionally, students can also be informed through newsletters and staff handbooks. 
  3. If a recording is requested for proof, it should be kept secure until the request has been dealt with in accordance with acceptable standards. It is advised to keep a disclosure copy in case of any future reservations.

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