Security cameras to be installed at RCMS

Alicia+Zheng+looking+for+potential+locations+of+security+camera+placement.+Photo+credit%3A+Hailey+Deng

Alicia Zheng looking for potential locations of security camera placement. Photo credit: Hailey Deng

Hailey Deng, Writer

Security cameras are scheduled to be installed by fall 2022 at Rachel Carson Middle School, and some students are happy about this advancement while others are wary.

Following the plan, 50 interior cameras and 17 exterior cameras will be installed. The interior cameras will be placed in the hallways of the school and will not be in classrooms or bathrooms. The exterior cameras will be placed near entrances and around the school.

“I don’t really see that much of a need for them,” Annie Sheng, an eighth-grader on the Voyagers team, said.

All high schools and around half of all middle schools in Fairfax County already have cameras installed, and it is expected that all middle schools will have them installed in roughly a year. Student feedback on the situation was generally positive.

“I think we’ll definitely start to see improved behavior in students,” said Arjun Garg, a seventh-grader on the Legacy team. “Because with students knowing they might be recorded, they’ll definitely act differently.”

The cameras will not be actively monitored. Instead, camera footage will be available for at least 14 days and at most 30 days. Only FCPS administrators and security personnel will be able to access the footage, and parents will be able to view footage with their students as the primary subject. Disclosure of student footage outside of FCPS requires consent from parents.

“The policy is reasonable because parents should know what their kids have been doing if anything does occur,” Alicia Zheng, a seventh-grader on the Dream team, said.

With the arrival of cameras, rising seventh-graders and rising eighth-graders will be able to experience them at RCMS while rising ninth-graders will experience them at their high school.

“As long as I don’t do anything bad, I won’t get in trouble,” Annie said. “It still feels weird being monitored.”