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AP 520

Video Surveillance in Schools

 

Background


The purpose of this procedure is to provide guidelines with respect to video surveillance in district facilities and school buses. In certain situations, controlled video surveillance can contributed to the safety of students, employees and others on district premises.

Procedures


1. Video surveillance camera locations must be authorized by the Superintendent (or designate) of the School District. Any change in camera location must be authorized in the same manner.

1.1 Video surveillance, like other forms of student supervision, must be carried out in a way that respects student right to privacy. Recordings are recognized to be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

1.2 Before video surveillance is introduced or expanded, a report must be provided to the Superintendent of Schools describing the circumstances that indicate the necessity of having surveillance at each location, including consideration of less invasive alternatives.

1.3 The School Planning Council must be consulted prior to the installation and operation of video surveillance cameras in schools. The Superintendent, or designate, shall be consulted prior to installation and operation of video surveillance cameras on school buses.

1.4 The periods of surveillance of public areas should be minimized.

1.5 Public notification signs, clearly written and prominently displayed, must be in place in areas that are subject to video surveillance. Notice must include generic contact information of the building administrator or designated staff person who is responsible for answering questions about the surveillance system. Any exception to this, such as for a time-limited specific investigation into criminal conduct, must be authorized by the Superintendent on the grounds that covert surveillance is essential to the success of the investigation and the need outweighs the privacy interest of the person likely to be observed. Covert surveillance may not be authorized on an ongoing basis.

1.6 Video surveillance is not to be ordinarily used in locations where appropriate confidential or private activities/ functions are routinely carried out. (e.g., bathrooms, change rooms, private conference/meeting rooms). The Superintendent will authorize any exception to this on the grounds that no other supervision option is feasible and that the need is pressing and outweighs the privacy interest of the student or other person likely to be observed. Surveillance of such locations may not be authorized on an ongoing basis.

2. Security/Privacy

2.1 Only a designated employee or agent of the School District will install video cameras.

2.2 Videotapes/digital images and recordings shall be stored in a locked filing cabinet in an area to which students and the public do not normally have access or shall be locked and secured in a bus.

2.3 Recordings may never be sold, publicly viewed or distributed in any other fashion except as provided for by this policy and appropriate legislation.

2.4 All video recordings that are in use must be numbered and dated for identification. When recordings are erased and reused, they must be re-numbered and re-dated.

3. Recordings will be viewed by the superintendent or designate.

3.1 In accordance with provisions outlined in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, parents or guardians may request to review a segment of a recording that includes their child/children. Students may view segments of a recording relating to them if they are capable of exercising their own access to information rights under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Viewings will only take place if an appointment with an appropriate official has been made.

4. Retention of Recordings

4.1 Recordings shall be erased within one month unless they are being retained at the request of the building administrator, Board Office, employee, parent or student for documentation related to a specific incident, or are being transferred to the Board’s insurers. Videotapes/digital images shall not be edited or selectively erased. Videotapes/digital images are to be kept intact until totally erased or destroyed.

4.2 Where an incident raises a prospect of a legal action, the recording, or a copy of it, shall be sent to the Secretary-Treasurer’s office.

4.3 Videotapes/digital images on school buses shall be erased or taped over once taping duration has completed its cycle unless they are being retained at the request of the Transportation Supervisor, driver or parent/student for documentation related to a specific incident.

4.4 Recordings retained under 4.3 above shall be erased as soon as the incident in question has been resolved, except that if the recording has been used in the making of a decision about an individual, the recording must be kept for a minimum of one year, as required by the Freedom on Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

5 Review

5.1 Each building principal or manager is responsible for ensuring that video monitoring is to be carried out in accordance with this policy and these procedures.

5.2 The Transportation Supervisor is responsible for the proper implementation and control of the video surveillance system.

 

Reference


AP 332 – Search and Seizure

(Last Revised: April 2016)

 

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