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Cameras in schools are not the answer

Home SecurityChildren need to be safe.  That’s a given.  But I am not convinced security cameras in schools are the answer.

In fact, I would argue that if a school has got to the point of needing cameras in order to ensure student safety, it is already a dysfunctional place.

If the only thing that stops a person behaving badly is the fear of being caught, they are just going to find the best ways not to get caught.  It is not an incentive to behave well.

A better aim is to educate students such that being a good person is the goal, and alongside that there has to be a firm and clear message that poor behaviour and bullying are not accepted.

Education and a communal focus on good citizenship is the answer.

Parents, staff, students and the wider community need to be on the same page as far as humanly possible. Where that’s not happening, there needs to be a clear plan to improve things.  Not just from the school but from other agencies as well.

Put cameras up and anyone determined to bully will just find the blind spots.  They will cyber bully.  They will bully on the way home.  They will find a way.

Cameras are not the answer.


Cameras in schools in NZ?

Surveillance cameras in New Jersey schools

Who’s misbehaving?

There are around 100,000 registered teachers in NZ. – of this maybe 10 have been in the much over hyped news. That’s one in 10000.

Parliamentarians on the other hand have been misbehaving at probably 500 times that level. On this basis the government has stolen our professional body [the Teachers Council] from us (would they also do this to the medical council or the law society!). Now they wish to replace it with a politically nominated body to control our registration and disputes. This becomes a vehicle for them to introduce politically driven policies which have nothing to do with professional standards.

misdirectionThey are removing our right to representation on our body as we see fit. They are denying natural justice by publishing names before ‘guilt’ or misconduct are established. Despite claims to raise the recognition of teachers as professionals, they wish to ignore our code of ethics and replace it with their own code of conduct (laughable given how they abuse their own one).

Please be aware that they are manipulating the media to make it look like there is a crisis in teacher standards.

Their agenda is to bring in performance pay and do away with our professional representation via the Teachers Council and the PPTA/NZEI etc. I have worked in the private sector where everything was performance driven and collegiality goes out the window as teachers hunker down in their own little cubicles jealously guarding their knowledge and skills. This is so detrimental to the strengths of education in New Zealand.

On top of this, teachers are still dealing with the debacle that is Novopay. As the minister whispers too complicated I hear cut conditions.

Charter Schools are still being introduced despite evidence showing they are a poor decision. Teacher standards for these schools have also been lowered.

As I hear the minister whisper Private Partnerships I see truckloads of tax money being poured into them and nothing from the private partners.

The $350m on offer for expert and lead teachers and principals is being foist upon us with the government expecting us to figure out how to make it work in a matter of weeks (unpaid consultative work I might add). There was no discussion on whether this was the best way to spend an asset sale windfall in education. Where the minister whispers raising standards I see performance pay and a whole new level of management structure being foist upon teachers who will be expected to do even more work for no more money.

The government needs to clean up its own act. Perhaps they would be willing to let teachers oversee parliamentary privileges and MPs’ code of conduct??

by Glenn Cassidy 

Follow Save Our Schools NZ on

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