Principals in Burlington, Iowa, will soon wear tiny clip-on body cameras like this.
A school district in southeastern Iowa has purchased 13 small, clip-on cameras that principals and assistant principals will wear during their interactions with students and parents.
The district is one of the first schools to encourage the use of body cameras among administrators, echoing the growth of support for body cameras on police officers in recent months. While police departments across the nation had entertained the idea of using body cameras in their interactions with citizens for years, the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by police in Ferguson, MO last year spurred new support for on-duty officers to wear body cameras, including President Obama, who in December proposed spending $75 million to buy 50,000 body cameras for law enforcement officers. Companies like Taser International said in November that sales of its cameras and storage subscriptions tripled in a year.
Iowa’s Burlington Community School District is not using anything so high-tech—their cameras are $85 video-audio recorders that store footage on SD cards, according to The Des Moines Register. In a phone call with Ars, Jeremy Tabor, the Director of Human Resources for Burlington School District, said people assuming that the school will use these cameras in the same manner as police are wrong. “We don’t want to create a system where we’re monitoring every activity… we just want to make sure that if something happens,” the school has the most information possible.
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