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Is it appropriate for schools to have CCTV or similar in toilets and changing rooms?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
for further information, I once worked upgrading the servers for a school and know for a fact that the school in question had webcams in changing rooms and toilets.

What do you guys think? Is it part of a schools duty of care to monitor areas where teachers can't be in case something happens? Is it a step too far?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why can teachers not be there?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well, because they're teaching the rest of the class. You allow a pupil to go to the toilet, and then they get attacked by other students, or set fire to the toilet block. But you've got 30odd other kids to take care of too.

    Or, you're a male PE teacher, you can't follow your girls into the changing room can you?

    Even if it's a place they can be, there's CCTV in the rest of the school for when teachers aren't there, so changing rooms and toilets too much, or enough?
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    I think clothing stores also have cameras in their changing rooms. Or at least, the notice in the one I usually go to says that one does.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Does it make a difference if there's a sign?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Funny, in the days of paranoia about paedophilia, that schools would be foolish enough to have CCTV in changing rooms hooked up to their servers. It wouldn't really take a genius to hack into the system and get lots of lovely photos of little boys and girls parading about with nae knickers on. It would probably just take a curious 13-year-old boy wanting to know what the cute girl looks like in her bra and pants.

    I don't have an issue with monitoring open areas of the school, including the sinks area of a toilet, but I have serious issues where surveillance is monitoring areas where children and young adults will be in a state of undress. If we know anything, it's that few institutions are competent enough with IT security to actually manage the images appropriately.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Funny, in the days of paranoia about paedophilia, that schools would be foolish enough to have CCTV in changing rooms hooked up to their servers. It wouldn't really take a genius to hack into the system and get lots of lovely photos of little boys and girls parading about with nae knickers on. It would probably just take a curious 13-year-old boy wanting to know what the cute girl looks like in her bra and pants.

    I don't have an issue with monitoring open areas of the school, including the sinks area of a toilet, but I have serious issues where surveillance is monitoring areas where children and young adults will be in a state of undress. If we know anything, it's that few institutions are competent enough with IT security to actually manage the images appropriately.

    ^ This.

    In my school, there was always a (same-sex) teacher in or at least in the vicinity of the changing area when we had PE. Usually because they were making sure everyone was changed before the lesson could start.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The example I can give of this school, is that some pupils set a fire on a toilet seat, and there was an explosion following. The images were used in the arson investigation. The images on the system I am familiar with are only looked at when something happens, and are only kept for 4 weeks.

    If a school could secure their network appropriately, would that ameliorate your concerns?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    The example I can give of this school, is that some pupils set a fire on a toilet seat, and there was an explosion following. The images were used in the arson investigation. The images on the system I am familiar with are only looked at when something happens, and are only kept for 4 weeks.

    If a school could secure their network appropriately, would that ameliorate your concerns?

    No.

    I would assume that having a camera in the sink area would show the kid going into the stall, and it would show the explosion and the fire and everything they would need to know.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok, so what about changing rooms? There's really not a way of avoiding seeing pupils in various stages of undress...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Changing rooms should be locked whilst there's no teacher in there. Why does someone need to be in the changing room during a lesson anyway?

    I don't think schools can secure networks appropriately. I know the University I work for can't...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can think of absolutely no good reason for a school to have CCTV in a changing room. I can think of plenty of good reasons not to.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What if, you put yourself in the position of a parent, your son/daughter is assaulted in an area of the school that up until very recently was covered by cctv or other cameras. As a result of their removal, there is insufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution. Is that a good reason to keep cameras in school?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd be fucking appalled and remove my child from any school that had cameras in toilets or changing rooms. It's sacrificing dignity for paranoia and should be considered a failing of the school and its staff.

    Changing rooms in school are hellish enough for most kids without throwing in a camera as well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    What if, you put yourself in the position of a parent, your son/daughter is assaulted in an area of the school that up until very recently was covered by cctv or other cameras. As a result of their removal, there is insufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution. Is that a good reason to keep cameras in school?

    I'd be questioning why there were no staff about to ensure that it didn't happen. CCTV may or may not allow a prosecution but it doesn't stop the attack happening- having staff about would have done.

    CCTV is a cheap alternative to doing the job properly. Always has been.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd be fucking appalled and remove my child from any school that had cameras in toilets or changing rooms. It's sacrificing dignity for paranoia and should be considered a failing of the school and its staff.

    Changing rooms in school are hellish enough for most kids without throwing in a camera as well.

    This...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Alright, 1, pupils and most staff do not know the cameras are there.

    2, what about bad teachers. We all know they're not all good people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1. That makes it worse, not better. Now people, children in fact, are being filmed in secret to stop a theoretical incident.

    2. Bad teachers should be removed from the profession, not have their shortcomings glossed over by invading the privacy of the kids they're teaching.

    If it's ok to put cameras in the toilets and changing rooms of a school then it's acceptable to put them in ALL toilets and changing rooms.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ah, but aren't schools different because of their duty of care? Tesco doesn't have a duty of care over me or my stuff, in fact it explicitly tells me otherwise. But when I was at school the school was wholly responsible for my well-being.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Like others have said, CCTV isn't a way of preventing incidents - especially if hardly anyone knows it's there. It's only a way of giving some kind of evidence to patch up the situation afterwards.

    Children can't be under CCTV supervision 24 hours a day 7 days a week for their entire childhoods - so there will also be the potential that someone can take them into a quite corner and do them harm. Realistically the school changing rooms are very low risk.

    If I were a parent and I found out my childs school had CCTV in the changing rooms I would be horrified and seriously consider moving them to another school.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Ah, but aren't schools different because of their duty of care? Tesco doesn't have a duty of care over me or my stuff, in fact it explicitly tells me otherwise. But when I was at school the school was wholly responsible for my well-being.

    I don't think that duty of care trumps the right not to be filmed, without consent, while undressing or using a bathroom. I'd say that the duty of care should prevent the filming of minors in situations of undress.

    It's fundamentally wrong to infringe upon the privacy of anyone, be they child or adult, to prevent a theoretical incident.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Does it make a difference if there's a sign?
    Um, that's not what I meant. Only that they could simply be saying there are cameras when there aren't.

    My point was that if it's wrong to put them in school changing rooms then it's wrong in clothing stores as well.
    Being an adult doesn't make it ok for someone to hack the camera and even if it did, children and teenagers buy clothes too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    What if, you put yourself in the position of a parent, your son/daughter is assaulted in an area of the school that up until very recently was covered by cctv or other cameras. As a result of their removal, there is insufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution. Is that a good reason to keep cameras in school?

    I am a parent with kids at school. CCTV in toilet cubicle or changing room is just wrong IMHO. The staff are responsible for maintaining my child's safety and should be there to monitor, not some remote CCTV system.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fiend_85 wrote: »
    Well, because they're teaching the rest of the class. You allow a pupil to go to the toilet, and then they get attacked by other students, or set fire to the toilet block. But you've got 30odd other kids to take care of too.

    Who are they going to get attacked by? All the rest of the students should be in class. The obvious solution is to not let more than one student out of the class. The chance of meeting someone from another class who just happens to be going to the toilet at the same time and just happens to have a reason to assault you is miniscule. Bullying tends to occur with groups of students, not individuals. And if it is a risk, simply tell students they can only use the toilets between lessons, like my school used to.

    Would you accept CCTV cameras in the changing rooms of your local swimming pool? If not, then why should you expect teenagers to accept the same thing?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Um, that's not what I meant. Only that they could simply be saying there are cameras when there aren't.

    My point was that if it's wrong to put them in school changing rooms then it's wrong in clothing stores as well.
    Being an adult doesn't make it ok for someone to hack the camera and even if it did, children and teenagers buy clothes too.
    I think it's dodgy in clothes shops too, but at least you have a choice not to shop there (it's not hard to have an attendant there to count the number of items for each customer). Kids don't have a choice not to go to school.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Right, well that seems fairly unanimous. Thanks very much guys. For the record, I'm not sure it was on either.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This was mentioned when I was at school. The PE teachers agreed it was inappropriate.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am totally against CCTV in changing rooms/areas and in toliets. If anything were to happen where it be arson, a fight, whatever, it'll happen whether there is CCTV there or not.
    Children and young peope are vunerable as it is, lets not take away their personal space and dignity.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From my perspective of being a cop, working in a school, CCTV has been a positive. The schools I work in have cameras installed but they only face the communal areas of the toilet and the entrances of the changing room to see who goes in and out. To see a child in a state of undress would mean they have decided to go streaking.....

    . I've solved quite a few crimes where the actual crime has taken place in a play area, then the naughty person has gone into the toilets to change their clothing after an assault or transfer the stolen property to another bag or do a little bit of drug dealing.

    As for the security aspect, the system is monitored, but very few people have access to it, and they are either myself, pastoral/security staff or senior management (who don't know how to use it so in effect the total number of users is normally 4). It's not on a network, it's a closed system so it's not hackable either from outside either.


    As another note, the only place in schools we now tend to get any real crime is in the school changing rooms. Phones going missing e.t.c. because despite us telling them not to bring them in, not to leave them unattended, kids know best ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    As another note, the only place in schools we now tend to get any real crime is in the school changing rooms. Phones going missing e.t.c. because despite us telling them not to bring them in, not to leave them unattended, kids know best ;)

    Many kids have good reason to bring them. How else are they meant to contact their parents if they're going to be late home?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You did what I did, or what we all did before fucking mobile phones. We called from the office.
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