CCTV in the common room

CCTV in the common room

Blog reporting on my schools introduction of CCTV cameras in the sixth form block.

]*Disclaimer*
With regards to the things I said about the dealers in the last section, I do not buy into the stereotype I mentioned neither seriously advise people to start selling drugs as an alternative to a job, both are bad ideas to say the least, (I do have my own views on the positive effect of certain drugs in the right setting etc. but that’s a different conversation entirely).

Cameras in schools are fairly standard for security I think. You can see it is fairly reasonable from the perspective of the school. It might catch people smoking, fights and general breaking of rules. Although I could criticise this, I would largely not worry about this sort of thing. It’s to be expected, part and parcel perhaps. But recently, a rather extreme step has been taken in the sixth form block. CCTV in computer rooms. Yes you did hear me right. Its time to not party like its 1984. There are two either end of the common room as well.

Why? Because people were eating and drinking in the computer rooms and I assume the cameras in the common room are to spy on people that are not off doing work like they should be. They recently banned us going to the common room for periods of 1 and 2 to re enforce work ethic, although that just means we talk and fuck around in the computer room which is quite easy with an internal email system and the fact we do have access to youtube although they have disabled the soundcards on most of the computers. Also, lucky for me, libcom is not blocked (but I do tend to only look at it when I’m relatively sure none of my friends are looking to save the embarrassment of explaining what I’m doing and the perplexed facial expressions I would get in return, though most of my friends know about my politics by now).

Now whilst I am not sure if the cameras can be monitored in the sixth form office or in the site staff office where all the other cameras are monitored (whichever office, I’m not particularly worried about getting caught doing anything, I doubt they have the time to actually look half of the time), I don’t think that is the point. It’s an extremely un needed measure. There are other solutions to these problems, which let’s face it, are pretty minor in the wider scale of things. My initial response was a mixture of surprise and laughter with a slight undertone of “fucking hell, CCTV!”. There is no point in opposing it anyway to be honest, I’m only going to get the predictable “if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have got nothing to be afraid of” response, which I would then criticise and then get something along the lines of “what do you think this school is, fascist? You are looking way too deep into this”.

No one appears that bothered, and because I think they are not really going to monitor these cameras anyway, I’m not going to talk about how people need to ‘wake up’ or try to worry them more than is necessary. For the first day or so everyone was talking about it, some “fucking hell, CCTV”’s but mostly laughing at it, it mostly died down after those first couple of days. Again, I don’t really think either of these attitudes were the wrong response to have. The only genuinely worried reactions I heard was through overhearing two guys, one of which I know for sure is a dealer and the other one who might be but sure as hell smokes a fuck load, engaging in a conversation that was basically went along the lines of

“Shit man they got cameras in here now you know”
“Is it?”
“Yeah man”
“We got to start being careful”
“Yeah haha”

I was just laughing in my head at how accurate to what most people would think these guys are like were (black, low attendance, re taking the year etc) but hey, with the state of un employment and the recent confirmation of double dip recession, or as I prefer, depression (solidarity to comrade Joseph Kay, read Joesephs article here
)I’m not afraid to say it either! at least they have recognised selling drugs might be a more secure, viable, and maybe even higher paying occupation, which I’m sure their business and economics lessons don’t admit.

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Posted By

Croy
Apr 28 2012 13:08

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  • It's time to not party like it's 1984

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Comments

gypsy
Apr 28 2012 22:13

Fuck sake. One action for this- Sabotage! Spray paint the mutha fucka/cut the wires.

Standfield
Apr 29 2012 02:48

Sure they are not fake cameras? My school had cameras all over the place, and one time after school, one the the kids in the year below me climbed on to the roof and dropped a brick on to the camera (it was the "smoking area"). After getting down he found out it was actually a dummy.

Knowing my school, they probably didn't have enough money for real ones so got these in as a "deterrent".

Croy
Apr 29 2012 11:37

I am sure that the cameras in the rest of the school are real. I have been in the site staff office before and seen the monitoring screen with the live feed of each

Steven.
Apr 29 2012 17:57
Standfield wrote:
Sure they are not fake cameras? My school had cameras all over the place, and one time after school, one the the kids in the year below me climbed on to the roof and dropped a brick on to the camera (it was the "smoking area"). After getting down he found out it was actually a dummy.

Knowing my school, they probably didn't have enough money for real ones so got these in as a "deterrent".

I would've thought nowadays cameras are so cheap that dummy ones would probably cost more!

gypsy wrote:
Fuck sake. One action for this- Sabotage! Spray paint the mutha fucka/cut the wires.

really? I think like the author says, it's not a good thing, but it is not really a big deal, I wouldn't have thought it would be something worth getting possible criminal damage charges for (as quite a lot of schools seem to be dicks nowadays with calling police on their pupils). Because of course the cameras would film who broke them!

Wiz
Apr 29 2012 18:21

ah, leftists posing as anarchists again i see.

i mean, who needs the cops and teachers telling you what to do when you have supposed 'anti-authortarians' to do so!

Croy
Apr 29 2012 20:48

What you talkin about Wiz ?

Choccy
Apr 29 2012 20:58

He's implying that Steven is trying to 'police' your behaviour when he's simply making a suggestion that smashing cameras might not be a great idea or even achieve much except getting you in trouble.

Standfield
Apr 30 2012 02:44
Steven. wrote:
Standfield wrote:
Knowing my school, they probably didn't have enough money for real ones so got these in as a "deterrent".

I would've thought nowadays cameras are so cheap that dummy ones would probably cost more!

No chance, just a quick search on Google says you can pick them up for like 15 quid. And with a proper CCTV you're not just talking the camera, you're talking installation costs, electrical bills etc.

And there are ways of destroying them without being seen, but yeah, probably not going to change the world. Can be a laugh though.

gypsy
May 1 2012 08:20
Steven. wrote:
really? I think like the author says, it's not a good thing, but it is not really a big deal, I wouldn't have thought it would be something worth getting possible criminal damage charges for (as quite a lot of schools seem to be dicks nowadays with calling police on their pupils). Because of course the cameras would film who broke them!

The cameras don't usually have 360 vision and will have a blind spot. Unless there is another camera watching it. Still perhaps getting a petition together to get them removed on 'privacy and no to big brother' might be a better call because as you say- they will go to town on the vandal if caught.

brajen pathak
May 1 2012 11:00

camaras in school to view what people are doing?

Diddy-D
May 1 2012 18:02

The surveillance society, and all that.

The common room is a private area for students to chill out in. I wonder how the teachers would react, if they were to have CCTV installed in the staff room?

And to think George Orwell thought the new invention of his day the television (the 'telescreen'), might be used for surveillance purposes.

I think the UK has more CCTV cameras than any other country in the world.

jef costello
May 1 2012 18:43
Diddy-D wrote:
The common room is a private area for students to chill out in. I wonder how the teachers would react, if they were to have CCTV installed in the staff room?

Wouldn't want it any more than the kids do. We have the same bosses.