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Cameras in the Classroom
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They were talking about this topic on C-Span this morning. I used to teach high school, and I think it's a fine idea. Not just for discipline, but also for evaluating teacher performance. I think they should keep the tapes on file in the school library, and parents should be able to check them out any time they like, and see what's going on in their kid's class (parents should also actually visit classes more, of course).

Anyway, there was no shortage of paranoid nuts calling in, claiming this was a violation of rights, a violation of privacy, a violation of the 4th Amendment.

Here, for your edification, is the text of the 4th Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Now then, nobody in a classroom has an expectation of privacy. There shouldn't be anything private or secret going on in there. A principal, parent, or other teacher should reasonably be able to visit and observe the class.

The rule of thumb seems to me to be: If a government employee would be allowed to be there, a camera should be fine there too.

That is:

A camera in a public park is not an invasion of privacy.

A camera in your private bedroom would be.

This just seems like a no-brainer to me, at least in terms of this particular objection. You could make reasonable arguments against it based on cost, maintenance, etc.

But not on the 4th Amendment.

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