This October Seaholm will be seen from 28 new different angles, after the installation of new security cameras around the school.According to Seaholm’s new principal Deanna Lancaster, the security cameras will be installed mid to late October.
The cameras will be installed first in Groves High School and then in Seaholm. There will be a total of 28 cameras in the halls of Seaholm and 58 at Groves after the installation this fall. This will cost the district over $160,000 plus upwards of $50,000 in annual maintenance fees, according to information said during the Board of Education’s June meeting.
According to Assistant Principal Deb Boyer the cameras being installed in the two schools have a purpose of making the environment safer and more secure. Administrators say they’ll be better able to monitor who enters and exits the building and determine who is at fault for any crimes that take place. The Board of Education and the school administrators have taken this into account, and, according to the board president Susan Hill, they are prepared to prove the benefits of the cameras.
Boyer assures that the cameras will be used for safety and not for spying.
“Absolutely just for security,” Boyer said. “Security has been an issue for a long time people have lost things from various places and we would like to make sure we have the opportunity to recover those.”
According to Boyer, only if a situation occurs where looking at the tapes is necessary, such as a fight or theft, will the administrators watch the tapes.
Although there have been concerns that the cameras will increase the disciplinary levels of Seaholm, Boyer assures that while the administrators can use them for behavioral issues such as skipping class “the intent is not to do that.”
Students have mixed emotions when it comes to the security cameras.
Freshman Mike LaFave and sophomore Melissa Shiner, both victims of locker room theft, feel that cameras are essential to the protection of student’s belongings.
“If they had cameras in the school they would’ve found out who took my phone,” Shiner said.
Mike LaFave, whose cell phone, a Samsung Nexus, was also stolen from the locker room, agrees.
“The cameras would help,” said LaFave.
Sophomore Kendall Spina said that the cameras make the students feel untrustworthy.
“I would say it is a big invasion of privacy,” Spina said.
Boyer assures that the security of the students and of the students’ belongings will be in much better shape because of the cameras.
“Seaholm has hoped to have cameras or tried to have cameras for a number of years,” Boyer said.
Robin Moten, a Flex teacher at Seaholm is also worried about the affects of the security cameras.
“I am really not a fan of the security cameras,” Moten said. “It has nothing to do with safety, it has nothing to do with expense, it has everything to do with how we achieve safety.”
Moten feels that cameras are not the ideal way to achieve safety at Seaholm.
“More efforts need to be put into making sure we have a community, then, if necessary, add cameras,” Moten said.
Based on information Hill said, this is not the first time that interest in the subject of security cameras has been brought up to the Board of Education. These concerns stem mostly from the parent community, and they are concerned for their student’s safety.
“The cameras should not circumvent the responsibility everyone in the building has to look out for one another and do the right thing,” Hill said.