New security camera installation at RCMS strikes doubts in students and staff


Eighth-grader, Emma-Grace Kim posing to outdoor security camera

 Many RCMS students found the installation of the new security cameras unnerving, while teachers and staff think of it more as a tool.

“I don’t think I’ve seen changes in students, rather in teachers and what they’ve said to us. Now at lunch, often lunch monitors tell us that we are being watched,” said eighth-grader, Maisie Smith-Zoh.

Darius Damian, an eighth-grader from the Voyagers team, agrees with Maisie, saying, “I think a lot of teachers threaten to check the cameras when they are suspicious of something.” 

Students like Darius think that the cameras are unnecessary, and have begun complaining.

 “A lot of other people don’t like them either. I just don’t think they add anything more.” 

Maisie, however, thinks differently.

“I’m not the kind of person to do things that would cause concern, but I can understand why some people would be worried,” said Maisie. “However, I do hope to see a difference in the amount of violence and incidents that happen on a regular.”

While many students at RCMS feel that the new cameras are useless, staff members think differently.

“When we can have them, why wouldn’t we?” questions Assistant Principal Mr. Powell.

According to the RCMS website, the effectiveness of the video monitoring system inside the school has been shown to reduce theft and vandalism, as well provide staff with timely and accurate ways to solve incidents that occur on school grounds.

Principal Stokes noted, “I see cameras more like a tool that can help find lost items and solve issues.”

With the 50 interior and 17 exterior cameras that begin recording with movement, the camera system was placed in areas of high traffic to help further support RCMS’ community.

Mr. Powell commented, saying “It resolves things very quickly, giving us clarity when we need it.”

Mr. Stokes and Mr. Powell both agree that they see the cameras more as a tool and find them helpful in resolving conflict.

“I think they are very beneficial, [but] I could understand why students might feel like a victim,” said Principal Stokes.

Mr. Stokes wishes for students to know that while he understands the concerns, this system is not intended to make students feel like they are being watched. Instead, it was meant to be a learning tool and resolve issues fairly.

He concluded, “We would love not to have them at all.”