HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — A proposal to add cameras to Houston County School bathrooms was discussed at Monday’s board of education meeting as the Board showed pictures of the prospective locations for the cameras.
One side sees it as a way of keeping their children safe, while the other side sees it as an invasion of privacy.
These cameras will be placed in bathrooms at each school throughout the county except for Rehobeth Primary and bathrooms that kindergartners through third-grade use.
The cameras will be there to monitor students looking for problems such as fighting, bullying and vaping, which is what they typically see and are trying to prevent according to Houston County Superintendent Brandy White.
“We just want to assure the parents that this is to keep their children safe,” White said. “Definitely won’t be facing any areas that will be inappropriate.”
This proposed plan has shown some concern from some parents as they feel this is an invasion of privacy and it’s a decision that shouldn’t just be made by the school board.
“I don’t believe the school board should have the sole authority to make these kinds of decisions without input from parents,” concerned parent Christopher Baker said. “Any matters regarding safety and security should have parental consent.”
These proposed cameras will be placed above the door and will show just the common area — no urinals or stalls. In some cases, depending on the layout of the bathroom, there will not be a camera inside but only outside the bathroom above the door to see who’s going in and coming out.
Board members add that the cameras will be in a dome and won’t be able to be turned away once it is set in place.
On Monday night, the board showed those in attendance photos to give them an idea of where the cameras would be placed.
“Most of the parents we have talked to so far, we have been able to explain everything and show the pictures, they completely understood,” White said.
Baker said that the photos didn’t change his stance.
“It didn’t change my opinion at all,” Baker said. “My stance is still the same. I think it’s a gateway to exploitation and I think it opens the door for other things to happen in the future that the benefits are not worth the risk and the reward.”
Superintendent White said he knows that parents are not always going to agree with their proposals, but he respects the way Baker expressed his concern at Monday’s meeting as he knows they all have the same mission in mind in doing what is best for their children’s safety.
White said this proposed plan could be brought up at their next board of education meeting, where a vote on the topic could take place.