Will Cameras Make Schools Safer in Vermont?

Monday, May 13, 2013

For seven years, the video cameras sat in boxes gathering dust at Mount Mansfield Union High School.

Now the same cameras that were yanked down from school hallways after parents and students complained are on the verge of going back up. What's changed? The answer can be summarized in two words: Newtown shootings.

Since 20-year-old Adam Lanza gunned down 20 first-graders and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school in December, education officials in Vermont and across the nation have taken steps to review and increase security. That's driving a renewed interest in surveillance cameras.

The proposal to install eight cameras inside Mount Mansfield Union was approved by the school board Thursday night. Although the plan has critics it is not generating as much opposition as it did the first time around.

Parents who emailed Principal Mike Weston in response to a letter announcing that interior cameras were under consideration were almost all in favor. And many students supported the proposal.

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