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School Security Cameras & Video Surveillance Systems: Pros and Cons

April 09, 2019

One of the biggest debates today is whether or not schools should be allowed to use security cameras. Though security cameras have been proven effective in enhancing campus safety, improper use of video surveillance can lead to negative sentiments and privacy invasion.

We will take an objective approach in laying out the pros and cons to understand both sides on this hot button topic. Here are the topics that we will cover in this post:

  1. The benefits of using security cameras in schools
  2. Why school security cameras can be bad or harmful
  3. Graphic of the pros and cons of school security cameras
  4. The best security cameras for school recommendation

The benefits of using security cameras in schools (pros)

With recent events, campus safety is becoming more significant for not only parents but school districts as well. Parents are increasingly more concerned with what systems are in place to ensure that their child is safe while at school. This causes pressure for school districts to respond accordingly and changes how they operate and plan for the future. Down below you will learn about the immediate benefits a school can gain when installing video surveillance.

Decrease theft, mischief, vandalism, car theft, and potential threats

When security cameras are installed in plain sight, this can deter potential crimes from happening. More often than not, when a camera is visible, a person may think twice before committing a crime since the potential of facing negative legal repercussion increase dramatically with security cameras.

Create a safe environment for teachers and students

In certain cases, teachers can harass students and vice-versa. By having security cameras installed in classrooms or in public places, this provides some truth when accusations of harassment occur. A false accusation can be damaging to a teacher’s career as well as a child’s academic development. If an incident happens, the use of video footage can provide leadership with accurate information to act accordingly when addressing a situation.

Support positivity and prevent bullying

School bullying is a serious issue that is prevalent in all schools no matter its reputation. Security cameras can reduce bullying by showing how serious the school is on ensuring the safety and well-being of its students. When security cameras are effectively used, “he-said-she-said situations” can be verified easily, and students tend to behave. Doonside Technology High School in Sydney reported that since installing security cameras, they have experienced a drop of 70% in bullying.

Keep an eye on students, teachers and visitors

Surveillance cameras can keep track of who is coming in and out of the school, as well as monitor student and teacher behavior. During normal school hours, knowing who is on school premises is crucial for school safety. Security cameras make it easier for schools to keep track of students and teachers and to have better visibility on who should or should not be on school property.

Peace of mind for staff, parents, and students

Video surveillance is the first line of defense when protecting a school. With modern security cameras, a school can be more proactive with campus safety and know when suspicious activities are happening in real time. A majority of parents tend to support security cameras so long as they are installed responsibly as they provide a clear indication that the school values safety.

Why school security cameras can be bad or harmful (cons)

While there are numerous benefits to installing security cameras in schools, there are other reasons why some believe they should not be used. Down below are a few points on why some are against the use of video surveillance.

Legality and privacy invasion

Those who are against video surveillance consider the use of security cameras in schools as an invasion of privacy. If security cameras are irresponsibly installed (i.e. hidden cameras or cameras that are not clearly visible) this would cause concern from students, staff, and parents.

Cost of school security cameras and systems

Several commercial/enterprise security cameras are cost prohibitive for many schools. Vendors tend to charge schools an exorbitant amount which puts schools in a very difficult position. Balancing the budget and wanting the best security technology can cause some schools to invest in an outdated or inefficient system in order to please both parents and staff.

Here at Rhombus Systems, we believe schools should have access to the best technology without any compromises or depleting budget. Our solution is more advanced and affordable than traditional enterprise options. Furthermore, we provide a generous EDU discount because schools and our future generation should always be protected. Contact us if you’d like to learn more!

Create mistrust from teachers and students

When a school installs security cameras, teachers and students may feel like they are being spied on which creates apprehension and resentment towards the school. When deploying security cameras, it is best to have clear policies and to educate teachers and students on why cameras are being used.

Can’t stop a crime when it is happening

Traditional video security systems are not proactive and are used only after an incident has already occurred. Those against the use of security cameras in schools believe that even if you install cameras, it won’t stop a crime from happening. However, with some AI-powered options, video security can proactively scan its surroundings and notify the appropriate personnel quicker and more effectively than ever before.

Graphic of the pros and cons of school security cameras


The best school security camera recommendation

The Rhombus R1 with dome accessory and wall mount


The Rhombus R1 provides the best of both worlds – affordability with incredible performance and features. The R1 is a cloud-managed, plug-and-play style camera which allows for easy installation. Unlike traditional legacy systems, the Rhombus platform requires virtually zero maintenance and consumes little to no bandwidth. Cloud management enables users to have access to customizable cloud storage options without the need for DVR/NVRs, servers, or hard drives.

School districts can securely access and view all cameras and locations from a single console, 24 hours a day. In addition, AI-powered features are readily available, such as – facial recognition, vehicle recognition, unusual behavior detection, fall detection, and etc. – to bring school safety to the next level. If you’re interested in video security for your school, please don’t hesitate to contact us to see just how easy it is to get started with Rhombus!

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