Say what you will about today’s teenagers, but I’m not buying into the premise that a couple of mass food fights in the last year justify surveillance cameras in all of our Fairfax County High Schools.
Aren’t we jumping the gun here just a wee bit?
The cost alone – $8000 per school – seems awfully excessive for one.
More importantly, though, when did ALL of our teens become public enemy #1 requiring video surveillance?
We want these kids to act like adults. Aren’t there better ways to encourage them to do so?
I appreciate that FCPS is soliciting input from the PTAs (as they darn well should).
However, before we go all “Big Brother” on our kids, why not engage the student councils for their opinions too?
Isn’t this a perfect “leadership” opportunity for Fairfax County’s teens? Perhaps the student body presidents could come up with some solutions that engage their school administrators to prevent “flash mob” cafeteria incidents.
When I was a teen, we could leave our school campus for lunch. It gave us some responsibility. It made us feel grown up. Can’t we find better school lunchroom policies that would encourage our teens to “act adult” rather than “act out?”
I don’t like the message these surveillance cameras send to kids. Do our teens really need to live under a big “eye in the sky” in our public schools here in Fairfax County? Seriously – this isn’t Detroit. (I can say that because I grew up there! 🙂 )
Here’s another idea I’ll throw out for consideration – Let’s call it the “High School TSA Fast Pass Option.”
Your child agrees to submit to a tight initial screening at the beginning of the school year – grilled by administrators about their potential threat as a potential “food-fight” participant. If the student is deemed a non-threat, they can get their “TSA Fast Pass” and eat in peace without surveillance.
Here’s another option – cafeteria ankle shackles. That has to be cheaper than video cameras! If your kid wants to eat, they have to lock up first. If a food fight begins, all the perps can be easily identified since they will already be shackled in place. The added benefit to shackles – no expensive technology upgrades!
Sarcasm aside, we’ll see how this issue plays out in the next few months. However you feel about the issue, register your opinions with your administrators, School Board members, and PTA/PTO leadership.
Kudos though to the parent advocacy group Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform who first brought this issue to the attention of the press. Check out their arguments in the press release they issued last week. FZTR News Release-Video Surveillance
Fairfax Principals Want Indoor School Cameras (Washington Post, September 17, 2011)
School Security Cameras Proposal Draws Parent Glares In Fairfax County (Fairfax County Times, September 16, 2011)
Fairfax Zero Tolerance Reform