7440.01 - VIDEO SURVEILLANCE AND ELECTRONIC MONITORING
The Board of Education authorizes the use of video surveillance and electronic monitoring equipment at various school sites throughout the District and on school buses. The video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment shall be used to protect Board property and assets from theft and vandalism, through deterrence and video documentation. The system is not designed nor intended to protect individuals from being victims of violent or property crimes, nor to detect other potentially illegal and undesirable activities that may occur, although information may be used as evidence in such cases.
The monitoring of actions and behavior of individuals who come onto school property is a significant factor in maintaining order and discipline and protecting students, staff, visitors, and school and student property. Video surveillance/electronic monitoring systems serve to complement other means being employed in the District to promote and foster a safe and secure teaching and learning environment for students and staff. The Board recognizes that the use of a video surveillance/electronic monitoring system does not replace the need for the ongoing vigilance of the school staff assigned by the building principal to monitor and supervise the school building. Rather, the video surveillance/electronic monitoring system serves as an appropriate and useful tool with which to augment or support the in-person supervision provided by staff. The building principal is responsible for verifying that due diligence is observed in maintaining general campus security.
The Superintendent is responsible for determining where to install and operate fixed-location video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment in the District. The determination of where and when to use video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment will be made in a nondiscriminatory manner. Video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment may be placed in common areas in school buildings (e.g., school hallways, entryways, the front office where students, employees and visitors are permitted to freely come and go, gymnasiums, cafeterias, libraries), the school parking lots and other outside areas, and in school buses. Except in extraordinary circumstances and with the written authorization of the Superintendent, video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment shall not be used in areas where persons have a reasonable expectation of privacy (e.g., restrooms, locker rooms, changing areas, private offices (unless there is express consent given by the office occupant), or conference/meeting rooms), or in individual classrooms during instructional times. Security staff and administrators are authorized to carry and use portable video cameras when responding to incidents. The Board authorizes security personnel to use body-worn video cameras while on duty, but prohibits them from being operated while the individual is routinely patrolling restrooms and locker rooms, unless the staff member is responding to a specific incident.
Any person who takes action to block, move, or alter the location and/or viewing angle of a video camera shall be subject to disciplinary action.
Legible and visible signs shall be placed at the main entrance to buildings and in the areas where video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment is in use to notify people that their actions/behavior are being monitored/recorded. Additionally, the Superintendent is directed to annually notify parents and students via school newsletters and the Student Handbook, and staff via the Staff Handbook, of the use of video surveillance/electronic monitoring systems in their schools.
Any information obtained from video surveillance/electronic monitoring systems may only be used to support the orderly operation of the School District's schools and facilities, and for law enforcement purposes, and not for any other purposes. As such, recordings obtained through the use of video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment may be used as evidence in any disciplinary proceedings, administrative proceeding or criminal proceeding, subject to Board policy and regulations. Further, such recordings may become a part of a student's education record or staff member's personnel file.
Ordinarily video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment will not be used to make an audio recording of conversation occurring on school grounds or property.
The Board will not use video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment to obtain information for the purpose of routine staff appraisal/evaluation or monitoring.
Recordings of students will be treated as confidential. Consequently, because the Board is bound by Ohio's Student Records Statute and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), copies of video recordings containing personal identifiable information about students shall not be released except to school officials with legitimate educational interests. Parents or guardians of minor students, and students who are eighteen (18) years of age or older, who are charged with disciplinary violations may view relevant portions of any video recording related to the charge, upon written request to the building principal, provided that viewing the recording does not violate State and/or Federal law (i.e., the privacy rights of any other students whose images appear on the recording). Likewise, school personnel may view relevant portions of any video relating to any disciplinary charge against them, upon written request to the building principal, provided that viewing the recording does not violate State and/or Federal law (i.e., the privacy rights of any students whose images appear on the recordings). Otherwise, such confidential recordings shall only be released through subpoena or court order.
The Board shall maintain video surveillance/electronic monitoring recordings for a limited period. Any request to view a recording under this policy must be made within seven (7) days of the event/incident. Unless a formal complaint is being investigated, recordings shall be destroyed after thirty (30) days. If, however, action is taken by the Board/administration, as a result of a formal complaint or incident, recordings shall be kept for a minimum of one (1) year from the date of the action taken. Recordings may also be kept beyond the normal retention period if they are going to be utilized for training purposes.
This policy does not address or cover instances where school officials record a specific event (e.g., a play, music performance, athletic contest, graduation, or Board meeting), or an isolated instance where a classroom is videotaped for educational or research purposes. Authorized videotaping for educational, instructional and/or research purposes is permitted and is not addressed by this policy.
The Superintendent is directed to develop administrative guidelines to address the use of video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment in school buildings, school buses and on property owned and/or operated by the Board.
Video surveillance is to be implemented in accordance with this policy and the related guidelines. The Board will not accept or tolerate the improper use of video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment and will take appropriate action in any cases of wrongful use of this policy.
Annually, the Superintendent shall conduct a review to verify that this policy and its implementing guidelines are being adhered to, and report to the Board on the use of video surveillance/electronic monitoring equipment in the District.