Decatur County Community Schools
Bylaws & Policies
 

7440.01 - ELECTRONIC MONITORING AND RECORDING

In order to protect Board property, promote security and protect the health, welfare and safety of students, staff and visitors, the Board authorizes the use of video and audio monitoring equipment on Board property, and on school buses. Information obtained through video and audio monitoring may be used to identify intruders and persons violating the law, Board policy, or the Student Code of Conduct.

The monitoring of the conduct of persons on Board property is intended to assist students, staff, and visitors in protecting themselves and their property. Video and audio monitoring is to complement other means being employed by the Board and staff to provide a safe and secure working and learning environment for students and staff.

The Superintendent is responsible for approving where and when to install and operate fixed-location monitoring equipment. The building principals and administrators responsible for other facilities shall be responsible for recommending use of monitoring in those facilities. Monitoring equipment may be placed in common areas in Board facilities. Common areas include hallways, entryways, offices where students, employees and visitors are permitted to freely come and go, gymnasiums, cafeterias, libraries, parking lots and other outside areas, and in school buses. Except in extraordinary circumstances such as a response to possible bullying, hazing, harassment, personal injury, property damage, or theft, and only with the written authorization of the Superintendent, monitoring equipment shall not be used in areas where persons have a reasonable expectation of privacy (e.g., restrooms, locker rooms, changing areas). In assessing whether extraordinary circumstances exist, the Superintendent shall consult with Corporation legal counsel before authorizing placement of monitoring equipment in private areas in which privileged communications occur (unless there is express consent give by the office occupant), or conference/meeting rooms, or in individual classrooms during instructional times. Access to live monitoring or recordings made in private areas will be based on the need for access to respond to the information obtained. Board employees are authorized to carry and use video and audio recording equipment when video and audio documentation would assist in performing the duties of their position.

A person who blocks, moves, or alters the location or viewing angle of monitoring equipment, or attempts to do so shall be subject to disciplinary action.

Signs shall be placed at the main entrance to buildings in which monitoring equipment may be deployed. These signs shall notify people entering through that entrance that their communication and actions may be monitored and recorded in the facility they are entering. Students and staff shall also be advised of the use of monitoring the recording equipment in Board facilities and on Board property.

Information obtained from monitoring and recording may be used to support the safe and orderly operation of the School Corporationís schools and facilities. This includes providing access to monitoring or recordings to law enforcement officers when proper authority in support of the requested access is provided. Records obtained through the use of monitoring equipment installed and operated in compliance with this policy may be authenticated and used as evidence in any forum in which its use would assist in the search for the truth concerning the recorded event. Recording that focuses on and follows a specific student or staff member may become a part of the studentís education record of the staff memberís personnel file.

Monitoring and recording equipment capability shall not be used to intercept or record communication between persons unless at least one of the participants is aware of the possibility of monitoring and recording. The results of monitoring or recording shall not be used for any tortious or criminal purpose and shall never be used in violation of the rights of the persons whose communication is monitored or recorded.

Not all monitoring will result in recording of what is monitored. Where a recording is made, not all recordings will include both audio and video, and the quality of recorded audio or video is not warranted to always be intelligible. Where audio or video records are made, they may be destroyed if a timely request is not made pursuant to this policy.

Recordings containing personally identifiable information about a student shall not be released except as required or authorized by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"). A parent or guarding of a student, and a student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older shall have access to relevant portions of any video or audio recording related to disciplinary charges against the student. Upon written request to the building principal, if the requested access does not violate State and/or Federal law (i.e., the privacy rights of any other student whose images appear on the recording), a recording may be exhibited to a parent/guardian and an eligible student. However, the parent/guardian and student will not be given a copy of the recording.

With the knowledge of the persons depicted, students, staff or a parent/guardian may record a school event open to the public such as a play, music performance, athletic contest, graduation, or Board meeting. Instruction may be recorded for staff evaluation or educational or research purposes.

The Superintendent may develop administrative guidelines consistent with this policy to address the use of monitoring and recording equipment in school buildings, school buses and on property owned and/or operated by the Board.

Monitoring is to be implemented in accordance with this policy and the Superintendentís guidelines. The use of monitoring and recording equipment in violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action.

FERPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232g
34 C.F.R. 99.1-99.67
Title I of the Electronic Communication Privacy Act of 1986
18 U.S.C. 2510-2521

Adopted 6/12/13

© Neola 2012