Teaching association: Cameras in classes may make them safer - CBS 5 - KPHO

Teaching association: Cameras in classrooms may make them safer

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GILBERT, AZ (CBS5) -

Would you feel safer sending your kids to school if you could see their every move? We're talking about installing cameras in their classrooms to give parents peace of mind. Some Valley daycare centers already do it, and the director of a local teacher's association said it may be a good idea to put them in elementary, middle, and high school classes, too.

"Our goal was to give parents, just like ourselves, some comfort," said Ted Pichler, owner and co-founder of the Learning Curve in Gilbert.  They have 14 cameras throughout the building, watching over the 120 children inside.

"We haven't had anybody that has been opposed to it and quite a few people actually seek us out for that very reason," Pichler said.

Parents can view these images at home on their computers or on the go on their smartphones. Pichler said the cameras are pretty cost-effective nowadays, and you can strategically place them to show or hide whatever you want.

While this may work in a daycare, would it work in the classroom?

"If there's some kind of incident in the classroom, it answers all the questions," said David Smith with Arizona Professional Educators. "You show the tape, this is what happened."

Smith said putting cameras in classrooms can both protect the students and the teachers. But out of the districts in Arizona he's approached with the idea, he said the idea hasn't gone over well.

"None have been interested," he said.

"When you start to stream it out to parents, that's where the concern comes in," said Marilyn Prosch, a privacy professor at the WP Carey School of Business at ASU. She said as the kids get older, the privacy concerns grow, as does a false sense of security.

"When you look back to the events of what happened at Sandy Hook, would having streamed that out to the parents helped at all?" she asked. "Absolutely not."

Pichler said he doesn't know if it makes children safer, but he says it serves one very important purpose.

"It certainly lessens parents' concerns and fears," he said.

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