By Aaron Kesel
Windsor Charter Academy in Colorado is under fire by parents of students for its decision to install cameras in its high school bathrooms, KDVR Fox reported.
Windsor Charter Academy executive director Rebecca Teeples stated that the installation of cameras “improves safety for students while helping secure the building.”
The stalls in the bathroom go from the floor to the ceiling but many worry that it’s still a violation of privacy to put a camera into a bathroom.
“We had surveillance cameras in our plans from the very start. It was part of the design of the new wing,” Teeples said. “We want to make sure our students are safe and secure.”
Parents are up in arms about the decision which they say violates students’ rights to privacy – “The first word that comes to mind is disgusting,” Trevor Garrett said. “I never thought it would be on anyone’s mind to put cameras in bathrooms anywhere.”
Garrett added that he also worries about students who might get changed in the restrooms for after-school activities or other circumstances where students might be exposed outside of the stalls.
“My gut reaction is, I’m a father, I want to protect my children and I’m going to protect any kids in here,” Garrett said. “I think when we sacrifice privacy for the sake of safety, it’s a very slippery slope.”
“At what point does it cross that threshold and violate rights? I think in this situation this violates rights,” Garrett added.
Garrett’s daughter echoed his statement, saying, “It makes me really uncomfortable going in there.”
Teeples further added that only school administration and the IT team will have access to the footage. As if that makes it any better that anyone will have access to viewing footage of teenagers in a bathroom. What’s more is that Teeples claims that this measure will help “improve safety of students,” when any of these listed school officials can review tapes of these teens in the bathroom.
What’s scary is that this isn’t the first case of such an outrageous privacy invasion; and what’s even crazier is that this was proposed in the very same week on the other side of the pond in the UK as well.
A secondary school at Summerhill school, Kingswinford, West Midlands UK is rethinking a decision to install CCTV cameras after students complained they are scared to go to the bathroom. Although, in this case the cameras are quite literally on the urinals in the boys’ bathroom. Whoever had this idea and thought it was okay should be investigated.
One mother told the Birmingham Mail:
My children have refused to go to the toilet in school; they feel like they are being watched. They said, ‘Can we ring you to take us home to use the toilet?’
Some are saying it’s to prevent bullying, and there’s been vandalism, but surely they can put a prefect on duty in the toilets at break times or a teacher, they don’t have to video children in toilets. A lot of parents are now requesting the footage.
Another mother said:
My son has come back and said he doesn’t want to go to the toilet. It’s shocking, they may have problems going on in the toilets but they can’t do this, surely.
A friend of mine said her daughter came home in tears because she was too scared to use the loo all day and she nearly wet herself in class. It’s so intrusive and creepy.
Five years ago, research by the campaign group Big Brother Watch found that more than 200 schools across Britain used CCTV cameras in students bathrooms or changing rooms, raising the concern about the privacy of schoolchildren, The Guardian reported.
The school officials all argue the cameras are to combat bullying and vandalism, but as Benjamin Franklin said those who give up liberty for security deserve neither.
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin.
Public school is becoming more and more like a prison in the U.S. and UK; prisoners have a camera on them in the bathroom, not students going to a school of “higher learning” to get an education. This is just more indoctrination to accept the nanny state.