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ECAC Electronic Surveillance (Video Cameras)

Adopted: June 10, 2003
Amended: April 23, 2012

Policy

The Board agrees to allow the use of Electronic Surveillance to promote the safety and security of students and staff, the protection of Board property, deterrence and the prevention of criminal activities and the enforcement of school rules.

Definitions

Electronic Surveillance is a term that refers to video-audio-digital components of multi-media surveillance.

Guidelines

  1. Video Monitoring on School Property
    1. Camera Location, Operation and Control:
      • School division buildings and grounds may be equipped with video monitoring devices.
      • Video surveillance may be placed in areas where surveillance has proven to be necessary as a result of threats, prior property damages, or security incidents.
      • Cameras placed outside shall be positioned only where it is necessary to protect external assets or to provide for the personal safety of individuals on school grounds or premises.
      • Surveillance cameras located internally shall not be directed to look through windows to areas outside the building unless necessary to protect external assets or to ensure personal safety of patrons or employees.
      • Cameras shall not be used to monitor inside change rooms and washrooms.
      • The school principal shall be the one responsible to manage and audit the use and security of monitoring cameras; monitors; tapes, computers used to store images, computer diskettes and all other video records.
      • Only individuals authorized by the school principal and/or Superintendent, in accordance with District policy, shall have access to video monitors, or be permitted to operate the controls.
    2. Notification:
      • Signs advising users of the premises of video surveillance shall be posted. All staff shall be made aware of the Board’s video surveillance guidelines and practices.
      • The school principal shall inform students, staff, and parents at the beginning of each school year that the School Division will be monitoring all activity that occurs at designated monitoring points throughout the school year and explain the purpose for such monitoring practice.
    3. Use of Video Recordings
      • A video recording of actions by students may be used by the Board or administrators as evidence in any disciplinary action brought against students arising out of the student’s conduct in or about Board property.
      • Video recordings of students, staff, or others may be reviewed or audited for the purpose of determining adherence to Board policy and school rules.
      • The Board may use video surveillance to detect or deter criminal offenses that occur in view of the camera.
      • Video recordings may be released to third parties or applicants in conformance with the provisions contained in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Alberta and any rules or regulations there under.
      • The Board or its administrators may use video surveillance and the resulting recordings for inquiries and proceedings related to law enforcement, deterrence and student discipline.
      • The Board shall not use video monitoring for other purposes unless expressly authorized by or under an Act or enactment.
    4. Protection of Information and Disclosure/Security and Retention of Tapes
      • All video records not in use must be securely stored in a locked receptacle.
      • All video records that have been used for the purpose of this policy shall be numbered  and dated and retained according to the camera site.
      • The principal and/or Superintendent must authorize access to any video records.
      • A log shall be maintained of all episodes of access to, or use of recorded materials.
      • Video records shall be retained for one month and then erased completely.  Video records that contain personal information used to make a decision directly affecting an individual, however, may be retained for a minimum of one year.
      • The principal shall ensure that a tape release form is completed before disclosing tapes to appropriate authorities or third parties.  Any such disclosure shall only be made in accordance with applicable legislation.  Such release forms should include the individual or organization who is requesting the tape, the date of the occurrence and when or if the tape will be returned or destroyed by the authority or individual after use.
    5. Disposal or Destruction of Recordings
      • All recordings shall  be disposed of in a secure manner.  Tapes shall either be shredded, burned, or degaussed.
    6. Video Monitors and Viewing
      • Only the principal or individuals authorized by the principal and/or Superintendent and members of the police shall have access to video monitors while they are in operation.
      • Video monitors should be in controlled access areas wherever possible.
      • Video records should be viewed on a need to know basis only, in such a manner as to avoid public viewing.
    7. Disclosure
      • Recordings shall not be disclosed except in accordance with this policy.  Disclosure of video records shall be on a need to know basis, in order to comply with the Board’s policy objectives, including the promotion of the safety and security of students and staff, the protection of Board property, deterrence, and the prevention of criminal activities and the enforcement of school rules.
    8. Access to Personal Information
      • An individual who is the subject of video monitoring has the right to request access to the recording in accordance with the provisions contained under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.  Access in full or in part may be refused on one of the grounds set out within the legislation.
  2. Video Monitoring on School Buses
    1. Camera Location, Operation and Control
      • The Transportation Supervisor may approve the equipping of school buses with video monitoring devices for monitoring student behavior.
      • Video monitoring equipment shall be in operation on a random basis as determined necessary by the Supervisor of Transportation to monitor student behavior or the action of bus drivers.
      • The Transportation Supervisor shall be responsible to audit the use and security of surveillance cameras, including monitors and tapes.
      • Students shall be informed by the school principal at the beginning of each school year that the Board may be recording student behavior on school buses and the purposes of such practices.
      • Video tapes may be released to third parties or applicants in conformance with the provisions contained in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act of Alberta and any rules or regulations there under.

An individual who is the subject of video monitoring has the right to request access to the recording in accordance with the provisions contained under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.  Access in full or in part may be refused on one of the grounds set out within the legislation.

References

Legal Reference: School Act, Section 12; Section 16, Section 60, 3(c); Section 208
Cross Reference: GDO Ethics & Business Conduct
DMA Protection of Valuables in Schools
ECAB Vandalism
IG Student Discipline
IFG Interrogation and Searches
AE Safe and Caring Schools
IF Student Rights and Responsibilities
GBCB CUPE Code of Conduct
EEA Student Transportation Services

 

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