Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Spy: More Than a Game at Sky High

Hot off the presses:
This coming Monday, April 11th, at 6:30 p.m, the next Skyline PTSO meeting will be held in the Media Center.  This month's agenda will include a discussion of the possibility of installing video surveillance cameras in the parking lot and some public areas in the building (hallways, commons).

Please come.
Come if you are a current parent, student, teacher.
Come if you are a prospective parent, student, teacher--this decision will affect prospective students, parents and teachers for years to come.

I think this is a terrible idea, and I'm opposing it because:

  • Haven't we been talking about MILLIONS of dollars in budget cuts in the district? How inappropriate to waste our money on this stuff. And if you tell me the money is coming from the bond that pays for construction, then let me say that I think there are plenty of better things to spend that money on. NOT a PENNY should be spent on surveillance cameras. Let's spend our money to limit the damage caused by the cutbacks.
  • I'm opposed to surveillance cameras downtown too. But at least I have a choice of whether or not I want to go downtown. Do students have a choice about going to school? Not really. We should not be teaching students to believe it is normal for the government to be monitoring their every move. Schools are supposed to use their precious resources to teach students to appreciate the freedom and privacy we have in this country, not create a police state atmosphere.
  •  Surveillance cameras have the potential for misuse. In other school districts they have been used to "out" kids about who they are dating or what kind of political advocacy students are doing. They've been used to stalk attractive students and monitor the actions of racial minorities. Sure, I know that's illegal but that doesn't mean it wouldn't happen here too. 
  • Most thefts that happen at Skyline High School are minor thefts that occur in locker rooms, classrooms, and other areas where there would be no cameras. In other districts, surveillance cameras haven't stopped bullying, they've just moved it into off-camera areas
  • We don't need cameras. It's a waste of money and creates a host of potential civil liberties problems. We are already paying for a police officer in the school! Let's teach students, parents, and teachers how to keep track of and lock up their stuff; report problems when they see them happening; and encourage pride in the Skyline community.

Be there! Monday, April 11th, 6:30 p.m., Skyline High School Media Center
If you can't come, feel free to share your opinions with
Sulura Jackson, Principal, and
Brian Mielewski, PTSO President,

Extra Bonus! Come to the meeting and learn some more about the Special Education Millage too.

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