Push for cameras to stop bullies in Australian High Schools

via The West Australian.

Teachers are calling for surveillance cameras to be installed in all high schools to help stem a rising tide of violence.

State School Teachers Union members at Morley Senior High School want the Education Department to place at least five video surveillance cameras in all district and senior high schools.

Their appeal, which is on the agenda for the union’s State council meeting in two weeks, says cameras would improve staff safety and may also make students feel more secure.

“One camera should be in the main teacher” carpark and another at the main student drop-off point,” the agenda motion says. “They would help to monitor bullying behaviour and help students to be more aware of the need for them to be accountable for their own behaviour.”

The number of suspensions for violent or disruptive behaviour increased 13 per cent last year to more than 27,325. The main reason for suspensions was for physical assault or intimidation of other students.

SSTU president Anne Gisborne said the motion was likely to be backed by many of the teachers at the council.

“People are getting increasingly anxious about inappropriate behaviour, not just from students but from people from outside the school,” she said.

Ms Gisborne said some might see cameras as an invasion of personal privacy but they would not be used within school buildings.

WA Secondary School Executives Association president Rob Nairn said use of surveillance cameras should be considered if they were found to be effective in deterring antisocial behaviour.

“I think we should use the technology where appropriate,” he said. “You certainly wouldn’t have them in classrooms. That’s overkill.”

The Education Department said it had no plans to install cameras in every school. Security head John Marapodi said 57 schools had closed-circuit television cameras.

These schools had a high degree of wilful damage and they were not designed to monitor students during the school day. http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/7305726/push-for-cameras-to-stop-bullies

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