USC schools considering security monitoring policies
The Upper St. Clair School District is considering adopting a policy for security monitoring of school buildings and grounds, and another policy for transportation video-audio monitoring that would help aid bus drivers while on the road.
If the new security policy passes, video recorders may be placed in and around schools and buildings, and all students are subject to being videotaped at school at any time.
The superintendent or designee may review the video media randomly, according to the policy, as well as in response to alleged improper conduct. If no incidents are reported, the video media will typically be recycled or rewritten within 45 days. If an incident is detected on tape, the tape will be preserved.
The first reading of the policy was on Oct. 9 at the school board’s committee of the whole meeting. The second and final reading and vote on the policies is expected to take place during the school board’s Oct. 23 meeting.
“The task of driving a bus and monitoring student behavior is difficult for drivers. Therefore, we are adopting policy to govern the use of audio and video monitoring on our school buses,” Upper St. Clair Superintendent Patrick O’Toole said. “At the same time, we are adopting policy to govern video monitoring of buildings and grounds to clarify that audio monitoring would not be used in these areas.”
According to the policy, the purpose of security monitoring of school buildings and grounds is to “assist the administration in observing behavior; preventing violation of school rules, regulations and district policies and Pennsylvania law; maintaining physical security and safety; and utilizing and/or dispensing the security monitoring when required for disciplinary, civil, and/or criminal matters.”
The purpose of the transportation video-audio monitoring policy is to maintain discipline and ensure the safety and security of all individuals being transported on district owned, operated, or contracted school vehicles. Video and audio recordings may be reviewed only with the proper authorization of the superintendent and/or his or her designee.
As with the security monitoring of school buildings and grounds policy, the superintendent or designee will review the video and audio media randomly, as well as in response to alleged improper conduct.
The proposed policies can be viewed in their entirety on the district’s website at uscsd.k12.pa.us.