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    Telegraph (UK): CCTV turning schools into ‘prisons’

    The Telegraph reports on schools in the United Kingdom and their security programs, which include surveillance of students. The story focuses on a study released in the journal “Surveillance and Society.

    Researchers found the widespread use of CCTV, ID cards, electronic registration systems, fob-controlled gates and fingerprint technology as schools attempt to crackdown on troublemakers.

    Staff at one comprehensive patrolled corridors and playgrounds with radios to make sure children behaved at lunchtimes, while teachers at a private school used technology to spy on children’s computer and internet use.

    Researchers suggested that the sheer scale of surveillance was fuelling paranoia among many pupils. […]

    The conclusions, in a study by Hull University, come amid growing concerns over a rise in the use of surveillance techniques in schools.

    As many as 85 per cent of teachers have reported the use of CCTV in their schools and one-in-10 admitted cameras were even trained on toilets. […]

    Dr Michael McCahill, lecturer in criminology at Hull’s faculty of social sciences, said the unchecked use of surveillance risked creating mutual distrust between teachers and pupils.
    “The bottom line is that complex social problems will never be solved with technological fixes,” he said. “Schools are full of children, not criminals. […]

    As part of the study, published today in the journal Surveillance and Society, researchers interviewed staff and pupils at three schools in a northern city. This included a “council estate comprehensive”, a private school and one all-girls’ school.

    They found widespread monitoring of children in all three schools, despite subtle difference in techniques.

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