Morgan County Schools
Bylaws & Policies
 

7440.01 - SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to foster school safety and ensure a safe, secure, and effective learning and working environment. After having carefully considered and balanced the rights of privacy with the school system's duty to protect the order, health, welfare, safety, and security of staff, students, and visitors, and to protect and secure school system property, the Board authorizes the use of surveillance cameras in its facilities, on its buses and on its grounds.

 A.Use

  1.Surveillance cameras and related equipment may be used for surveillance, including monitoring and recording activity, to facilitate and help protect the order, health, welfare, safety and security of students, staff, and visitors, and to protect and secure school system property: provided, that surveillance may not be used for the purpose of employee performance evaluation.

  2.In facilities and on school grounds, surveillance cameras will run continuously; on buses, surveillance cameras will run continuously whenever the bus(es) is/are in operation.

  3.The use of surveillance cameras will be supervised by the principal, administrator, or director.

 B.Location

  1.Surveillance cameras will be placed on all buses and may be placed on the exterior walls of facilities and at other locations on school grounds; on internal areas of facilities, including but not limited to common areas, cafeterias, hallways, stairwells, and administrative office reception areas; and other areas as deemed necessary by the Superintendent/designee(s).

  2.Surveillance cameras shall not be placed in bathrooms, shower rooms, locker rooms, changing areas, private offices, employee lounges, conference rooms, or any other areas where appropriate confidential and/or personal activities/functions may be occurring.

 C.Notification

  1.Appropriate signage will be prominently displayed notifying students, staff, and visitors about the use of surveillance cameras.

  2.Students and staff will receive additional notification, as appropriate, regarding the use of surveillance cameras. Such notification may include, but is not limited to, publication in employee handbooks and student handbooks. Such notification may also include, as deemed appropriate by the principal, administrator, or director discussion about the use of surveillance with staff and students to heighten awareness and help foster a sense of security.

 D.Recordings

  1.All recordings shall be automatically maintained for a minimum period of five days, after which they will be overwritten: provided, that a recording may be maintained for an unlimited period of time by the principal, administrator, or director if an incident related to the safety, security, health, welfare and/or order of students, staff, and visitors, or the security of school property, is suspected or reported.

  2.If a recording is maintained beyond the minimum period because of a suspected or reported incident, it will be stored on a CD or VCR tape depending on the type of surveillance system, labeled and secured by the principal, administrator, or director to avoid tampering and to ensure confidentiality.

  3.Any recording shall be the sole property of the Morgan County Board of Education and the principal, administrator, or director shall be the custodian of such recording.

  4.Any recording with information directly related to or concerning a specific student will be subject to the provisions of the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

  5.A recording will be overwritten or destroyed when it is no longer necessary as part of an investigation or proceeding by the school system or by law enforcement officials.

 E.Viewing

  1.A recording is not available for viewing by staff, students, parents, visitors or the general public except as provided in this policy.

  2.The principal, administrator, or director will have the authority to view surveillance and recordings as part of an inquiry, investigation, and/or proceeding related to safety, security, health, welfare, and/or order of students, staff, and/or visitors, or the security of school property.

  3.A parent or guardian may view a recording if it is the basis for, or relevant to a disciplinary action against their child. The parent or guardian must submit a written request to view the recording to the principal, administrator, or director and must comply with FERPA requirements. Only the portion of the recording where the violation(s) relevant to the discipline action is observable may be viewed. The viewing must occur in a school facility and must include the principal, administrator, or director.

  4.An employee may be authorized by the principal, administrator, or director to view a recording if he/she has direct interest or involvement in connection with an investigation or proceeding. Any viewing of a recording which is an educational record shall be subject to FERPA requirements. The viewing must include the principal, administrator, or director.

  5.Law enforcement officials may be authorized by the principal, administrator, or director to view a recording as part of an investigation into an alleged criminal matter or if necessary to protect the safety of students, staff, or visitors, or if necessary to protect and/or secure school system property. Any viewing of a recording which is an educational record shall be subject to FERPA requirements.

  6.For any viewing, the principal, administrator, or director shall maintain a written log, including date, time, purpose of viewing, and the recording viewed.

 F.Security

  1.To protect surveillance systems and recordings, the Superintendent/designee(s) shall provide reasonable safeguards, including but not limited to password protection, fire walls if needed, and controlled access.

  2.Surveillance viewing monitors shall be located in secure areas unavailable for public viewing.

  3.Only authorized staff, including principal, administrator, director, bus operators for buses, the county technology coordinator for technology support services, or any agent(s) contracted by the board for the purpose of installing and/or maintaining surveillance equipment, shall have access to said equipment.

  4.Bus Operators shall be provided written procedures by the director for safeguarding the security and confidentiality of surveillance tapes or CDs on buses.

  5.Unauthorized staff, students, parents, visitors, and the general public are prohibited from the use of, tampering with, or from otherwise interfering with surveillance cameras and related equipment.

 G.Definitions

  1.For the purpose of this policy, "principal" shall mean the principal and/or assistant principal of a school, "administratorí shall mean the assistant superintendent for the central office, and "director" shall mean the transportation director for the bus garage/buses.

  2."Staff or employee" shall mean regular; substitute; part-time, temporary; extracurricular or others serving in any employee capacity; "visitors" shall mean parents/guardians or their designee; volunteers; others seeking to conduct business including but not limited to vendors, delivery personnel, contractors, service technicians and/or the general public while on school grounds.

Morgan County Board of Education Policy JO-R

West Virginia Board of Education Policy 4350

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

West Virginia Code 21-3-20; 62-1D