Is Remote Video Surveillance for School Shootings an Effective Security Measure?
Schools, law enforcement, and politicians have been trying to develop effective measures to prevent school shootings now for years. Each new tragedy raises the question as to whether there is a genuinely useful measure which can prevent further tragedies from occurring.
Can Video Surveillance Prevent School Shootings?
Video surveillance has been a pervasive presence in shops, malls, and gas stations for decades, and now they are making their way into schools all over the country.
With school shootings becoming more frequent, the invasion of remote video surveillance capabilities onto schools and campuses was, in many ways, inevitable; at least until a more effective solution presents itself.
Since the Sandy Hook massacre, there have been 400 bills passed for enhanced school safety. Around 62 of the bills directly referenced video surveillance as a part of the countermeasure’s schools should implement.
However, forcing children and teens to roam halls where they are under constant surveillance comes with caveats. Many parents and school officials are concerned that video surveillance is a gross invasion of privacy. Others have also stated that we may be paving the way for students to become comfortable with around the clock monitoring by government departments.
A Growing Demand for Remote Video Surveillance
Schools across the country have been petitioning for funding to install remote video surveillance.
Once the cameras have been installed, they manage to serve several useful purposes. Not only are the cameras be used to identify threats, but they are also helpful for monitoring student behavior.
In Walpole High School, Walpole, Mass., the school has used cameras to investigate answers to questions about student behavior. Students may also be less inclined to engage in activities that may attract disciplinary action, so they may be posing as a deterrent against misdemeanors. However, according to Mr. Imbrusch, the usefulness of the cameras in this regard is hard to gauge.
Can Remote Video Surveillance for School Shootings Prevent Tragedy?
There is currently no level of technology which could deter a determined school shooter. In most cases, mentally disturbed individuals do not care if they are caught or not. Remote surveillance in these situations is useless as a preventative measure.
Quite a few school shooters in the past have had the goal to achieve notoriety, and video cameras may have served to increase the incentive for them to carry out their horrific deed. So, what use, then, is remote video surveillance in a school environment?
Improved Response Times
Response time is a critical component for reducing the impact a school shooter can have on the community.
Remote video surveillance will enable a monitoring service to alert authorities to the event that is transpiring much faster than a passerby reporting the sound of gunfire. Even though the shooter may not care if they are caught, a faster response would be able to limit the amount of time they have to inflict damage.
Video surveillance may also be useful in alerting the police to the location of the school shooter, while also creating the ability to guide those under attack away from the location of the gunfire.
The solution to prevent school shootings will not lie with one system alone, but rather a multitude of systems working together to create a more secure environment. Checkpoints, community awareness, stronger doors in classrooms, the ability to block out windows, and mental health care, should all combine to keep our students safe from harm and create a healthier community.