As the ever-increasing surveillance state continues to consume the United States, many are left wondering how far authorities will go in their pursuit to end privacy altogether in the name of ostensible safety. As a recent case out of Windsor, Colorado illustrates—even children’s bathrooms are now considered fair game for the all-seeing eye of the state.
Some parents of students at Windsor Charter Academy are speaking up after the school announced its decision to put surveillance cameras in all of the high school’s bathrooms. Not only do the cameras obliterate students’ privacy but they also pave the way for rampant abuse by sexual predators.
According to FOX 31, Windsor Charter Academy executive director Rebecca Teeples said the installation of cameras improves safety for students while helping secure the building.
“We had surveillance cameras in our plans from the very start. It was part of the design of the new wing,” Teeples said. “We want to make sure our students are safe and secure.”
Apparently being safe means having someone record you while you’re most vulnerable.
Naturally, some parents are speaking up and demanding the school take these cameras down. One parent, Trevor Garrett, who has three children at the school said the cameras in the bathrooms violate students’ right to privacy—and he’s right.
“The first word that comes to mind is disgusting,” Garrett said. “I never thought it would be on anyone’s mind to put cameras in bathrooms anywhere.”
Garrett also brings up the potential for abuse, noting that students will be obviously exposed in front of these cameras.
“My gut reaction is, I’m a father, I want to protect my children and I’m going to protect any kids in here,” Garrett said. “I think when we sacrifice privacy for the sake of safety, it’s a very slippery slope.
“At what point does it cross that threshold and violate rights? I think [in this situation] this violates rights.”
“It makes me really uncomfortable going in there,” said Garrett’s middle school student Kaylee Garrett.
Teeples is defending the placement of the cameras in the high school bathrooms because the stalls go from the floor to the ceiling. However, as Garrett pointed out, what if the child is exposed outside of the stall, changing clothes for example.
As FOX 31 reports, Teeples said only school administration and the technology team have access to the footage.
Noting the sheer senseless nature of the cameras in bathrooms, Teeples said the cameras aren’t monitored constantly and footage will only be viewed if there is a need to see it.
As statistics show us, however, there will undoubtedly be people seeking that footage out. As a recent investigation by USA Today illustrates that education officials put children in harm’s way by covering up evidence of abuse, keeping allegations secret and making it easy for abusive teachers to find jobs elsewhere.
As a result, schoolchildren across the nation continue to be beaten, raped and harassed by their teachers while government officials at every level stand by and do nothing. The investigation uncovered more than 100 teachers who lost their licenses but are still working with children or young adults today.
According to the study, at every level, institutions and officials charged with ensuring the safety of children have failed. Lawmakers have ignored a federal mandate to add safeguards at the state level. Unions have resisted reforms. And administrators have pursued quiet settlements rather than public discipline.
Given the propensity of sexual predators seeking out jobs at schools and school officials looking the other way, installing cameras in bathrooms seems like the worst idea in the world. Sadly, however, these cameras will likely not be removed as much of society is now trained to surrender their freedom and privacy for the facade of safety—apparently, even if that means allowing the potential for sexual predators to spy on their children in bathrooms.
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