Security Surveillance Systems In Schools: Why Are They Important?

Every year, school campuses across the country face two main concerns, namely safety and security. From all the safety measures available, including metal detectors, security surveillance systems, wireless lighting and security guards, security cameras are the most controversial method. Nonetheless, the controversy has not stopped schools from using cameras in deterring security threats. Recent data released by the government show that the use of surveillance cameras in public schools rose from 19 percent in year 2000 to 55 percent in 2008.

What Are Security Surveillance Systems?

Wireless camera security system are placed in one or more areas inside or outside a school building, for the main purpose of monitoring the activity as it happens. Modern cameras usually have features like tilt, zoom and pan. Various types of security surveillance systems include analog systems of CCTV monitors and Internet-controlled systems with digital surveillance cameras connected online. Typically, analog systems are cheaper than digital systems but they cannot store, recall and view video on multiple monitors. On the other hand present digital cameras can now be viewed through a home theater system.


Employing surveillance cameras on school campuses brings peace of mind to teachers and students. This peace of mind has a huge impact on the students focus on their studies and creates a sense of safety and authority that may ultimately improve how outsiders, teachers and students treat the campus. The primary advantage of surveillance cameras is deterrence. Studies show that people are less likely to commit a crime if they know they are being monitored.

Another advantage is that security cameras provide direct evidence when a crime is committed. Video evidence will make students more likely to admit their involvement and parents are more likely to accept their childs guilt. In addition, campuses can save more money in the long run by using security surveillance systems. School security personnel are able to work hands on, and the declining burglaries and vandalism will save money from insurance premiums.


Even though security surveillance systems can save campuses money, initial costs to purchase and install them is often a reasonable drawback. Security surveillance systems may cost $30,000 or more for the hardware, testing, and installation, not to mention the needed budget for future maintenance and upgrading. Another drawback to these cameras is invasion of privacy. Sensitive groups fear that school administrators will use cameras to profile students because of their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion or appearance. Though there is no documented proof of this happening, those who are against home monitoring and security cameras also think that a climate of fear and distrust will be reinforced between school officials and students.

Things to Consider

Like for home security cameras, schools should ascertain their need for installing security surveillance systems. Depending on their location, exposure and history of being a target for crime, some schools may need more cameras than others. Schools should be very specific on what system they need and include these and other necessities in the purchase agreement.