The State of Surveillance in Schools

Educational institutions need to understand how to keep their students and staff safe. Learn about the state of video surveillance in schools and how to use it at your institution with Spot AI.


Matt Klingbeil



Safety measures and security are on the rise in schools and educational campuses. Educational institutions must stand against unsafe and unwarranted behavior while students learn and develop in a safe environment.

Historically, schools were considered a safe place for parents to send their children to learn educational and social skills. However, in recent years, there has been an influx of school shootings and other unsafe events that have rocked the American educational system. Parents are now asking those who once kept their children safe, "How can we proceed?" and "What do we need to change to make schools a safe place again?"

Learn more about how schools improve security with our AI Camera System in our on-demand webinar.

The current state of security in schools

This ongoing debate centers around whether schools and educational campuses should use surveillance in schools to enhance student and staff safety. In many cases in America and worldwide, installing a school surveillance system has proved effective as a deterrent for unwanted and dangerous behavior.

Currently, over 90% of public schools use surveillance cameras, but should it be made compulsory throughout all education facilities in America?

After controlled access to the building, surveillance cameras are the second most common security measure implemented successfully by schools. In 2020, over $360 million was invested in school surveillance cameras and other physical security equipment to increase student safety.

However, many schools still lack any security or safety measures at all. People who perform school shootings and other dangerous behavior know that basic security measures have not been adopted uniformly throughout American educational facilities, so there is still a high chance that they will gain access to a building that they should not be allowed to walk in freely.

This is why surveillance cameras and other security measures should be implemented throughout America.

If a student or adult wants to engage in unsafe behavior within the school, they might think twice about doing so if they know they will be caught on camera. For students, inappropriate behavior, such as bullying, could result in suspension or expulsion. In extreme cases, such behavior could go on their permanent record.

For adults, being caught on camera engaging in unsafe behavior could result in losing their job and prosecution.

Overall, the installation of security measures such as a school surveillance system would reduce bullying between students, cutting classes, and leaving the facility without notifying a responsible adult. It would also discourage other unsafe and troublesome behaviors.

In addition to deterring unwanted behavior, video surveillance can give children, teenagers, and adults learning and working within the facility a greater sense of safety. People generally feel safer when they see security measures such as security guards, police officers, and security cameras. These measures protect vulnerable or innocent people who were not protected before, thus increasing overall morale and feelings of contentment.

If school boards are considering introducing surveillance cameras in schools within their district, then they should implement them. As long as they are implemented in a responsible and safe manner, that adds to the safety of the institution. This will help with overall negative behaviors and provide an additional layer of security for the precious lives of their students.

Learn more about how schools improve security with our AI Camera System in an upcoming webinar.

The Role of Video Surveillance in Schools

The school security landscape is changing as schools invest more in video surveillance. It has become a necessity that educational facilities consider various security measures to keep everyone who works and learns in the building safely.

Strengthening physical security defenses is becoming increasingly important, and school surveillance is an integral part of that effort. There are mounting concerns over the safety of schools in our modern world, which has become more dangerous and violent. Dangerous incidents such as school shootings, victimization, bullying, fights, weapons, and illegal substances are all prevalent issues that need to be addressed with contingency plans.

Parents are becoming more wary of the dangers modern society presents to their children. Educational boards must implement ways to ensure that schools remain the safe haven they always were.

While it is a tricky balance to strike between keeping schools open and accessible areas where creative and innovative thinking can take place while protecting the people who work and learn within the facility, a comprehensive mix of strategically placed cameras should provide enough educational surveillance to ensure adequate security and safety.

There are many benefits to implementing a student surveillance system, including:

  • Improved emergency preparation and response. The system can alert staff and people of suspicious activities as they occur in real-time, allowing staff to implement safety procedures for the safe evacuation of as many students as possible.
  • Deterrence of negative behavior such as theft, mischief, vandalism, and car theft.
  • Improved teacher safety so they can feel safe in their work environment and concentrate on teaching the children
  • With the implementation of surveillance cameras, schools have improved travel and drop-off times so they are safer for students traveling by bike, bus, or walking to school; it improves student safety overall.
  • Only authorized visitors will be allowed on campus. Anyone who is not approved will be seen quickly and asked to leave.

Visible security cameras can deter illegal or dangerous acts in schools. Bullet cameras are a good choice as they resemble traditional CCTV cameras and make it obvious that there is surveillance.

Surveillance in the workplace can also be beneficial in preventing incidents of bullying between teachers and students. Video surveillance strategically placed in educational facilities can reduce this kind of behavior, creating a safer environment for teachers and students.

Education surveillance can also help combat bullying by detecting fights immediately and resolving any escalations quickly. Having video evidence of the incident ensures fair and proper handling of the situation.

Cameras can control building access and monitor the school perimeter, ensuring all pupils stay on school grounds throughout the day. Cameras with AI facial recognition technology can detect unauthorized visitors and create a security alert.

Implementing a security system that includes video surveillance gives parents peace of mind that their children are safe. They trust the school administration to deal with conflicts appropriately, treat their children fairly, and resolve issues efficiently.

Several types of cameras can be used in schools, including bullet cameras, dome cameras, PTZ cameras, and fisheye cameras.

While some people worry that video surveillance in schools is an invasion of privacy as everyone's movement throughout the day is being recorded. Some people feel that teachers, students, and staff may feel uneasy about being watched constantly.

While they are entitled to their opinions regarding installing security measures, like surveillance cameras, in schools and educational facilities, the benefits far outweigh the negatives. As long as cameras are installed correctly and visibly, i.e., no hidden cameras, then it is legal and beneficial not just to students and teachers but to parents and families too.

School Monitoring Software

Schools have a duty of care to ensure the safety of everyone on campus. They need to make everyone aware of the safe, reliable, and ethical use of new technologies implemented for people's safety.

Tools and technologies that can increase safety include monitoring computer use and cyberbullying, regulating mobile phone usage, and holding parent information sessions. A variety of technology can be used in conjunction with these tools to ensure a safe and secure environment.

Some of the most effective school monitoring software include:

  • Access Control
  • Visitor Management
  • Fire systems
  • Alarms
  • Mass Notification
  • Video Surveillance and school monitoring software

Among these, video surveillance and school monitoring software are particularly useful. Spot AI can enhance your facility by implementing a comprehensive, easy-to-use camera system. Users can easily search through footage, share it if needed, and gain meaningful insights from AI technology.

Spot AI offers an intelligent video recorder that is incredibly easy to set up and has cloud storage for important video clips. The cameras within the system are high-resolution, weatherproof, state-of-the-art cameras with 5MP and 16x digital zoom.

The system can integrate with customers' current setup to save money, as many facilities would not have the budget to replace their entire system.

The Spot AI dashboard is clear and innovative, allowing users to see all their locations from one device, which provides significant coverage, especially for schools. Alerts can be set up for incidents or accidents, motion detection in restricted areas, and nighttime activity.

Motion detection is a feature that can be very useful for schools to implement around the school perimeter. It will stop unwarranted visitors from entering the building unnoticed and prevent kids, especially teenagers, from leaving the facility without permission. Leaving without permission is unsafe, and anything that will help reduce that is useful.

Many schools use companies like Spot AI to implement a school surveillance camera policy as it increases security, making schools safer places for staff, students, and parents. It elevates any facility's safety and gives people peace of mind that incidents would be dealt with immediately if they were to happen. The system provides more visibility to security and school administration on the incidents that occur during school days with staff and teachers. Additionally, it offers emergency services visibility in case an emergency occurs on-site.

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