Security cameras at Oak Park elementary schools a 'no-brainer,' but parents still need input

Opinion: Editorials

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Four years ago, Oak Park District 97 installed security cameras at its two middle schools, Brooks and Julian.

Now the district is considering doing the same at the eight elementary schools. The difference is these cameras would monitor the grounds and exteriors while the middle school devices were mostly aimed inside. A string of recent crimes, including vandalism of some of the buildings, prompted the need for greater outdoor monitoring, according to district officials. We share D97 board member Peter Traczyk's assertion that outdoor cameras in this instance are "a no-brainer." But we urge the administration and school board to listen to parents' concerns before signing off on this level of monitoring.

When middle school cameras were being considered, some parents voiced legitimate concerns about privacy. D97 has a policy and administrative procedures that govern how cameras are used. Those policies will also govern the elementary cameras, D97 officials have promised. Privacy, that diminishing luxury of modern life, is important and necessary for kids in a school setting. But their safety inevitably takes precedence.

The middle school cameras, for instance, have helped reduce theft, according to the two schools' former principals. Outdoor cameras likely will have the same effect.

Reader Comments

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What??? from Oak Park  

Posted: July 17th, 2013 9:15 AM

Lovely...the lack of air conditioning is discrimination card. I'm sure the board has reviewed the cost of A/C for all buildings & deciding we can't afford it. D97 schools haven't had AC for, oh, 110 years. How on earth did anyone learn anything for all that time? I & my kids went to grade school here, we were warm in Aug/Sept. but we dealt with it by opening windows & turning on fans. We LIKED it! Toughen up your little crumb crunchers & teach them to deal with a little adversity. That's life.

AIR CONDITIONING  

Posted: July 17th, 2013 8:41 AM

I think the $$$ would b better spent on AIR CONDITIONING! For ALL classes not just the IEP classrooms. Just because my child is "normal" he gets to roast in class with his other non-iep classmates. Unacceptable. Perhaps a little on the discriminating side.

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