Big brother in schools?
Officials looking at CCTV monitoring
Government is looking into the possibility of introducing closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in schools, the President of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) has disclosed.
Pedro Shepherd said the matter was discussed this week during talks between BUT and Ministry of Education officials, which zeroed in on stepped up security in schools. While the matter is still at the discussion stage, Shepherd said the idea was to have closer surveillance of the activities taking place in the island’s learning institutions.
“It is our belief that . . . there might be need for the additional assistance which will be in the form of closed circuit cameras,” he told Barbados TODAY.
He pointed out that the majority of schools on the island did not have security guards, and that while most primary schools had one security guard, they were still deemed to be “high risk”.
Therefore, he said security cameras were necessary, “because of the size of our plants, and the number of issues that we are being confronted [with] on a daily basis.
“We are saying that one guard in the case of some primary schools, and the two in the case of [some] secondary schools, is becoming totally inadequate, and there may be need for closed circuit cameras specifically to zoom in on those critical areas such as the entrances . . . and fences.”
However, he stressed that the cameras would not be installed in classrooms and corridors, but only at the gates and perimeter fences.
“We would have had issues at several schools, where persons would have entered the compound. Last year, we would have had an incident at Parkinson Secondary School, about four years ago we would have had an incident at St Christopher School; there was a time we had another incident at the Lawrence T Gay School, and we’re saying that to have a guard stationed at the gate of the school, and then having a number of persons wanting to come on to the compound, to see teachers, to see principals, to deliver things to students etc., that the one guard having to leave the station, leaves a breach more or less in the security,” the BUT spokesman explained.