Schools Experimenting with Teacher Body Cams

Educators across the globe are now toying with the idea of having teachers wear body cameras to record unruly students.  A district in Iowa started using teacher body cams two years ago, now a pair of schools in Britain will try them out.

Houston ISD Police already use body cameras, as do several school police departments around the U.S.  Many districts use cameras on buses, common areas on campus and in some classrooms.  But it's unclear how body cameras would work in an academic setting.

“There are some times and opportunities that I think it might actually be useful, when you're on the ground, bus duty, those types of things,” says Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers.  “However, I think there are some times where I think it would be highly inappropriate.”

“When you have confidential information or when students are talking about issues and concerns of a personal and private nature, you would have to be extremely careful.  My gut instinct is it just feels real 'big brotherish' having body cameras on every teacher in the school.”

There's also a cost to taxpayers.

“We see far too much expense going to things that sound good, but don't really work out well in practice,” says Capo.  “This could be one of those issues, so I would definitely want to be cautious about moving forward.”

Critics also argue teacher body cameras will alter teacher-student relationships in the classroom, causing a deeper divide between the student body and faculty.

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