October is National Bullying Prevention Month, a time to focus and increase awareness on bullying, the unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Besides adopting best practices to address and prevent this grave issue, school principals and assistant principals are encouraged to utilize advanced video surveillance as a means to enhance monitoring and create a safe, stress-free environment for children to learn.
Bullying is linked to a myriad of negative outcomes, including impacts on mental health, substance abuse, decreased academic achievement, and suicide. Further, several active school shooters had a history of being bullied before committing the attacks. Bullying prevention is everybody’s concern, as the kids who are bullied, the ones that bully others, as well as the bystanders have an increased likelihood of developing depression and anxiety and engaging in risky behaviors.
Providing safe and supporting learning conditions and a school culture of positivity, inclusiveness, and respect are necessary. Equally important is to define explicit anti-bullying policies, share them with all stakeholders — parents, students, teachers, and staff — and rigorously adhere to the established preventative guidelines.
Prevention also demands a fast and consistent response to bullying, so as to send a clear message to students that the behavior is not acceptable. Unfortunately, it is impossible to monitor children incessantly, particularly in areas where teacher presence is limited, such as the cafeteria, corridors, and on the way to and from school. In this context, IP cameras could become a crucial addition to the security arsenal of K-12 schools.
Other benefits of installing first-class cameras are:
- Many times, victims of bullying are afraid of the perpetrator. Likewise, witnesses may stay silent due to friendship loyalty. This can result in bullying being unreported. However, video surveillance can help teachers and administrators notice when this issue is occurring and respond quickly to the situation.
- Video surveillance supplies footage that can help students be accountable for their actions. Moreover, cameras on campus are a key deterrent to bullying.
- A positive learning environment can be nurtured when kids feel safe at school, bullies understand the consequences of their actions, and students know there is a clear and responsive reporting system.
Security cameras can assist administrators with keeping an eye on every student, every day. Nevertheless, due to privacy concerns, it is suggested that the purpose of video surveillance is entirely explained to parents. In situations where privacy is necessary like restrooms, locker rooms, and employee lounges, motion sensors, vaping sensors, or audio detection can be valuable alternatives.
IP cameras in schools have many other positive effects. From reducing student misconduct and vandalism to protecting children and faculty from external threats. Since even the most vigilant campus is still vulnerable to aggression, cameras are an effective way of encouraging students to be on their best behavior and dissuading them from bullying.