Yes/No: Should schools implement security cameras on campus?


Melina Ramirez

Data collected from BVH students by the Crusader who believe whether or not schools should implement security cameras.



By: Antoinette Gilbert

A few months ago at Bonita Vista High (BVH), there were students that participated in “Devious Licks” — a TikTok challenge— by stealing school property.  If schools were to install security cameras, the probability of these issues recurring would be low and students would be held accountable. 

Security cameras can help students, teachers and other school staff members with controlling violence between students such as bullying and fights. According to, there are approximately 20 percent of students ages 12 to 18 years old that have experienced bullying. 

Additionally, as stated by  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 18 physical-fighting incidents occurring per 100 students every month. By installing security cameras throughout school’s campuses, such as BVH,  it ensures that there will be repercussions for those responsible.

School Security Cameras and Video Surveillance in Schools written by David Santiago, states that security cameras at school are known to ensure campus safety. They maintain the safety and peacefulness of the school’s environment, by recording any incidents that could occur. 

For students, teachers and other staff members, school security cameras can create safer environments for teachers and students alike, because they decrease the possibility of theft, mischief and vandalism that had also occurred on BVH school grounds. Cameras placed on school campuses will help to prevent vandalism, break-ins, false fire-alarms, trespassing and other incidents.

 A few weeks ago, students from an unidentified school trespassed the BVH campus. These same students vandalized the school by spray-painting antisemitic and homophobic statements on school property and breaking a window in room 907.

For others security cameras may cause problems for others personal privacy. Parents may not feel comfortable with their children being taped by the school without their permission as well, but they do ensure students safety.

Although some may argue that security cameras would lead to the lack of privacy, it is crucial to understand that security cameras are meant to keep students safe. Cameras should be installed not to invade a person’s privacy, but to protect schools by deterring criminal activity by providing material evidence when an incident has been caught on film. By the following as students vandalizing the school property and trespassing.

Stealing is a big problem that may still occur and needs to be stopped. Not too long-ago students have been stealing school supplies. The security cameras can be strategically placed in order to protect valuable school supplies like computers, equipment, trophies, books and other school supplies. Some reasonable places to place the school cameras would be in the classrooms.

According to the US National Liberty of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 15 percent of high school students have stolen in their life. If security cameras were to be implemented through school campuses, the percentages would decrease.

Security cameras are meant to record footage so people can watch it if needed. Security cameras can not stop crimes and they do not alert people like an alarm would. However, they can provide evidence that can assist with the incidents that may occur.

In conclusion, installing security cameras can make school grounds a safer place. Schools should install security cameras because they can determine misbehaviors. Additionally, they can also maintain the safety of students and school’s staff members.



By: Madison Knudson

The topic of security cameras in schools creates vast arguments from opposing sides on whether or not they should be implemented throughout school campuses.  Administrators and educators need to consider the many advantages and disadvantages of instituting different types of security, such as cameras throughout schools’ campuses. However, Bonita Vista High (BVH) needs to consider and examine the disadvantages a little closer regarding the implementation of cameras across campus.

According to Cons of Security Cameras in Schools by Cindy Pearce, cameras cannot be used in areas such as bathrooms and locker rooms due to legality purposes, where students and staff members have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Some people on campus may feel uncomfortable with the placement of cameras because it may be seen as an invasion of privacy. If there are violations of a student’s privacy, it can create legal liabilities. For example, if the security was installed or used incorrectly and the use of hidden cameras.

Additionally, many administrators and teachers are concerned about these cameras being used for harmful profiling: Targeting people who may look or present differently because of sexual orientaion, race, gender, religion, etc. These profiling justifications are unconstitutional violations of student and educator rights, mentioned by Pearce. The cameras meant to encourage the safety of students only contribute and encourage harmful stereotypes already present in society.

As reported by Keep Security Cameras Out of Schools by Gabrielle Applebury, students who have been around cameras in classrooms reported a feeling of distrust between the school and the student body, as well as teachers and educators. Furthermore, according to Pearce, some students and teachers may see the cameras as types of security measures that are used in prisons and therefore, inappropriate for school use. This also feeds into the stereotype of the schools being perceived as prisons which can increase the student crime rates due to more harsh environments.

Research shows that this surveillance causes a negative impact on student academic performance and achievement because students are less focused on their studies due to the constant surveillance. The hyperawareness of cameras littered across campus distracts from the education in front of them. It also creates division between students and how they contribute to the culture of the school because they are set aside in an attempt to make schools safe.

In relation, “Adding Security, but Subtracting Safety? Exploring Schools’ use of Multiple Visible Security Measures,” by Emily E. Tanner-Smith, Benjamin W. Fisher, Lynn A. Addington and Joseph H. Gardella, claims that crimes in school settings don’t only involve property damage but also include issues such as youth exposure to drugs, fighting, firearms at school and more. Through analyzing data, they were able to find indications that utilization of security measures in high schools reduced the exposure to property crime, however they were also associated with poorer school safety. 

Vandalism of the cameras, such as stealing or destruction, can also occur if there isn’t a way to monitor the condition of the cameras themselves regularly. With the recent vandalism at BVH, stealing and destruction of the cameras should not be rejected as a possibility if they were to be implemented on campus beforehand. There is also the possibility of someone in the school’s system who has access to the cameras to prevent them from working at certain times in some places where students’ actions will not be held accountable for the actions done because they were not visible by the cameras. 

Despite the fact that principal Roman Del Rosario spoke on the vandalism and mentioned the funds provided to BVH by the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD) after returning from distance learning, the cost of security and surveillance is still very expensive. For example, an Ohio school district spent over 82,500 dollars in cameras over five years and software installation and setup for the cameras, as well as a 28,000 dollar annual fee. Although the installation of the products may be the most costly, there are other added expenses such as operation of the cameras, maintenance of the cameras themselves and monitoring of the surveillance.

Although some students and parents might disagree with the installation of security cameras due to privacy reasons, according to Applebury, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of education. Therefore, the security footage of students must be stored appropriately. Adding on, the act states that parents and students have the right to inspect the footage of the students. Schools must also have a signed form in order to release any of this footage. Through all the investments and expenses needed to install and maintain security cameras, they have proved to be not as helpful as many schools may need.

Considering the recent events that took place at BVH, it’s understandable to look at the benefits of implementing cameras on campus. However, with the installation of cameras comes numerous factors that go against the same idea.