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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

School security cameras and how they’re being used

More+cameras+are+placed+around+campus+in+locations+with+higher+foot-traffic.
Shimon Arai
More cameras are placed around campus in locations with higher foot-traffic.

Amador Valley High School has cameras in operation throughout the campus. However, none of the cameras are actively monitored— they’re only used during investigations. But even then, the cameras don’t capture everything. Thus some may wonder how effective the cameras around school really are.

“Administration is generally the people that have the most need, to check certain security cameras. We have asked our campus supervisors to also check,” said AV Principal Jon Fey

With limited funds for such projects, there are only a limited number of cameras. Though only checked during investigations, the school installed the cameras in high-traffic areas, and areas with more vandalism or conflict. 

“I would say, the bathrooms [have the most conflicts] because they tend to be sort of separated. But I don’t think there’s necessarily a significant place that stands out to me,” said Fey

The captured footage is formatted in a resolution that allows staff to identify students. In addition, the cameras were placed precisely so that a person could be traced upon entering and leaving the school. But with the presence of cameras, there are also obstacles.

“Of course, I mean, people trying to mask [their] identity is certainly going to be something that everybody deals with,” said Fey

Physical barriers, such as hoodies or masks, undermine cameras, but so do ethical barriers. For example, a school cannot install a camera inside the bathroom. Nor can it be placed inside a classroom or the office, because it goes against the school’s contracts. 

“We were not able to put a camera inside the office because it could be construed as spying on our employees to make sure for whatever, and that’s not the purpose of the camera. But it could be construed as that,” said Fey

Placements

The placement of the security cameras is also constantly changing. When a building is demolished, the cameras are reinstalled elsewhere. Currently, the school is motioning to add cameras upstairs in the Q-building. The school is also considering adding more cameras or possibly a 360-camera to the Santa Rita parking lot. 

“I would want to add [one] just because we’re concerned about vandalism and security of our student’s cars that park here. And if there was a smash and grab, an accident, or somebody backed into a car, we would want to be able to at least help the students,” said Fey

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