Another good idea and advantage of the use of cameras is that truancy could be found out about. This would be so, as students who register in the morning in classrooms would be recorded. Then, usually most schools take registers in each lesson. Students would, again, be recorded. Missing pupils could therefore be recognized. Teachers who take registers would know if anyone was missing, and then they could check the footage of the camera, on from wherever the cameras were transmitted from (preferably a main computer, but a television would also do), to see if they were away or present in the morning.
They could then check with the receptionist whether they had to leave school for a reason or not, and if the receptionist was told they were leaving school in school-time. This is a very effective method in catching out truants. The final advantage is that parents can find out whether their children are really working hard at school like they say, or not, and what they are doing (and saying) behind their backs and their teachers.
I have now finished with the advantages, and so will begin with the disadvantages in having surveillance cameras placed in classrooms. The main and most obvious reason, here, is that as the cameras can record sound as well as motion, so privacy of pupils’ thoughts being shared amongst friends can be invaded on by teachers, staff, etc. This cannot be helped, as the cameras record sound for misbehaviour purposes, and recording personal conversations is a great disadvantage ‘side-effect’, as if it were.
Most pupils would hate if their private personal thoughts, opinions and conversations were being heard by people they wouldn’t want to tell, and I agree that no one would want their private thoughts and emotions to be snooped upon; sometimes not even by parents. This means that the class room’s cameras may become a ‘license for vigilantism’. Another disadvantage would be that an unlucky pupil may trip up/fall over accidentally, for example, and that would be embarrassing, not only as other members of the class saw him/her, but also other unknown members of the school staff (e.g. teachers) saw them.
Pupils, once they find out they are being recorded and viewed on a screen, may decide to block the camera lens, or may even simply break the camera. In conclusion, the advantages clearly seem to outweigh the disadvantages. But, although there are far more advantages than disadvantages of having surveillance cameras being placed in schools, some of the disadvantages are very important to consider. In considering placing the cameras in classrooms in schools, the ways in which how the disadvantages should be dealt with, should be carefully thought upon.
How could private conversations between pupils be prevented from listening to? How could snooping and vigilantism be prevented? These questions, and more, need to be answered first. My suggestions, are that access to viewing the footage on computer could be password-protected, or access to the room (if a TV were used), could be locked, and keys could only be given to those who had a decent reason to view vital footage.
These are only rash reasons; hence obviously more detailed suggestions and plans need to be contemplated. For preventing personal conversations being heard, passwords activating sound could also be created. Sound would always be recorded, but to hear it, passwords would have to be input to enable sound to be heard. Finally, I would like to say that cameras should only be placed in schools where they are really desperately necessary; cameras, although are the best source for evidence, can become a great hassle too.