Charlottesville High School Approves Security Cameras

By: Philip Stewart
By: Philip Stewart
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March 30, 2006

Students at Charlottesville High School will have more eyes watching them this fall. After a number of false fire alarms pulled by students and multiple vandalism incidents, Thursday night the school board voted 4-1 in favor of installing security cameras at the high school. They think it is an answer that will stop all of that.

The school will join the growing list of local schools installing security cameras. The district will spend $70,000 on 40 cameras to be installed in public areas of the school.

Acting superintendent, Robert Thompson said of the cameras, "They would be in hallways, where the [fire] alarms are. They would be in common areas, cafeteria areas, courtyard areas."

But despite the promise of keeping private areas, like bathrooms, locker rooms, and even classrooms, private, one member said cameras go against the district's overall goal.

"We want our schools to be a community, a community in which everyone treats each other with trust and respect," said Louis M. Bograd. "In my view the introduction of security cameras, is inconsistent with that goal."

Those in favor of the cameras say they will deter vandalism and other incidents. Board member Dede Smith voted in favor of the cameras, but also suggested putting less money into policing students and more into educating them.

"Problems that people have been talking about the most, are going to need a different kind of approach," she said.

The acting superintendent said the cameras should be installed by the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year. Crews are expected to begin installation this summer.

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