So, I have avoided hot topics in the past. Mainly I do because I can see both sides of an issue. Or I don’t feel it warrants any further attention that what it is getting. So here I am today choosing to give my own personal opinion on a hot button topic. Cameras in classrooms. I’m usually against anything that seems big brother like so for me to say that I not only agree that they belong there but it has become abundantly clear in the last few years, it is necessary surprises me even.
The main reason I’m for cameras in the classroom is because it protects the truth and the innocent. That is teachers and students alike. How many times in the last few years have you heard of abuse or bullying that results in media attention? Too many times. The cameras that are there have vindicated the innocent victims and often protect them from being wrongly accused of lying, both sides of it. In other cases, it provides an opportunity for justice.
I can think of situations that involve Emelie directly that having a camera in the classroom would have benefitted us in figuring out who was bullying her, was there extenuating circumstances leading up to a full on meltdown, how the staff handled the meltdown, and in certain cases where Em was getting blamed for things she swore she didn’t do.
Take the last day of school for Em on Friday for example. Em had a substitute teacher. She’s had him all week. He’s an older gentleman. Former teacher himself. From what I can tell from the experiences that Em has had with him the last 2 years, seems like an old school teacher. They were doing an activity in that class around 11 in the morning and there was a situation. Em got so worked up for not being able to explain her side of it, she broke her glasses. It came down to a he said they (as in other students were defending Emelie) said situation. Had a camera been in the classroom, before the teacher even accused her of pushing down another student, he could have looked at the footage and seen that both of them had lost their balance and she reached out and touched him and he fell. Which is what the other students had been saying to the substitute all along.
Instead of a situation becoming diffused, it kept escalating. And this is for a student that can verbalize what may or may not have happened to her. Let’s think about a student who comes home with bruising and can’t tell you what happened because they are nonverbal. You contact the school, they talk to everyone that works with your child and no one seems to know. If there were cameras in the classroom and no one knew, they could review the footage from the day and see if there was anything they could see that would explain the bruising.
We have cameras on the busses. We have cameras in entryways to the school. We protect our children anyway that we can. So why wouldn’t we do this. Why wouldn’t we protect our teachers, aides, school workers, children, and ourselves? We should protect them. We should embrace this idea. It may not solve all the problems but gives everyone a safety net.
And I’m all about safety nets!