AMY BOUNDS ON APR 18, 2018
SOURCE: MCCLATCHY, SecurityInfoWatch.com
April 18--The Boulder Valley school board is moving closer to installing interior security cameras at its high schools, with members generally agreeing to a new policy at a Tuesday work session.
Parents and high school principals have lobbied the board to revise a long-standing policy prohibiting security cameras inside schools.
The policy change would allow the district to move forward with a plan to place cameras in common areas such as cafeterias, halls and gyms. Classrooms, bathrooms, locker rooms, offices and conference rooms would be off limits.
The middle and high school principals all support interior cameras, which they say would help prevent bullying and thefts and help schools and police investigate incidents. The current plan only includes high schools.
"Cameras provide a safe environment for kids," said Fairview High Principal Don Stensrud. "Cameras are necessary. They're not an invasion of privacy."
He said interior cameras would cut down on vandalism and theft and allow schools to more quickly address safety issues.
He gave the example of a gun scare in March after a student carrying a wooden color-guard rifle prompted a call to 911 by a witness who thought the prop was a rifle case.
Instead of locking down the school, Stensrud said, he could have quickly identified the student with a security camera and confirmed there wasn't a threat.
Of the state's 10 largest school districts, Boulder Valley is the only one without cameras inside schools, though the district does use exterior cameras. Both the neighboring St. Vrain Valley and Adams 12 school districts use interior cameras.
"We are way behind the curve," said school board member Kitty Sargent.
Along with Sargent, board members at the meeting who fully supported adding cameras and using bond issue money to pay for them included Kathy Gebhardt and Sam Fuqua.