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Security Cameras for Schools in 2024: Safeguarding Education

School Security Camera

The school security camera debate always rages on. Should surveillance cameras be used in schools? On one hand, school security cameras are indeed effective to enhance the intuition security. However, improper installation of the CCTV for school may lead to privacy invasion, which is the HEATEST discussion point. Here we’ll show you the pros and cons of security cameras at schools and the detailed answers to the questions you may have about school cameras.

School Camera Statistics

In 2017, about 84 percent of students ages 12–18 reported observing one or more security cameras to monitor the school, according to National Center for Education Statistics. And the number is increasing. According to the same data source, during the school year 2019-2020, almost 91.1% of public schools use security cameras as part of their security systems and safety measures.

Legality of School Security Cameras

Setting up security cameras in schools raises a range of legal considerations. School cameras are typically placed in areas that do not infringe on students' right to privacy, such as classrooms, hallways, common areas, and building perimeters. However, installing security surveillance cameras in school bathrooms or toilets where there is reasonable expectation of privacy is definitely illegal.

Then, authorities should have a surveillance camera policy outlining the rights and responsibilities of students, teachers, administrators, and other school staff.

As a best practice, the policy should include the following:

  • A clear statement of appropriate reasons for using surveillance cameras;
  • The role and responsibilities of individuals with access to the cameras;
  • Who will have access to any footage;
  • How long will any footage be kept and how will it be destroyed; and a consent provision

Benefits of School Surveillance Cameras

If you support the use of CCTV security cameras in school, explore the top 5 benefits of installing them in school buses, classrooms, elevators, and other public areas.

Deter theft and crimes

School surveillance cameras (systems) installed plain in sight are a great deterrent for criminals. No one wants to be caught on the act. For example, when there are school video surveillance cameras installed in school parking lots, potential perpetrators may think twice before committing a crime.

If the worst situation happens — a student got robbed, the images and videos captured by school security cameras are useful for investigating vandalism or violence. With evidences, the criminals can be caught by the police much more easily.

Help stop bullying in schools

School bullying has become a serious problem in school campuses. Under the surveillance of video cameras in schools, students tend to behave well, which is definitely an effective way to stop bullying in schools. Video recordings of CCTV surveillance cameras in the school can prevent he-said-she-said situations when a bullying happens.

Protect both teachers and students

Some teachers would harass their students in some cases. With the security video surveillance cameras installed in classrooms and other places, those unscrupulous teachers generally would not hurt students. However, in some cases, some teachers who would get accused of sexual harassment by his or her students, but the teachers are innocent. But if there are security cameras in classrooms and other places, you can see who would be responsible for the issue.

Keep an eye on students, teachers and visitors

School security cameras can keep a track of everyone in and out of the school entrances. For example, there are many visitors entering and leaving schools every day. School CCTV security cameras (systems) make it easier for schools to watch any visitors. It's a useful way to eliminate unauthorized intruders.

Give parents a peace of mind

As a parent, their angels' security always comes first. IP security cameras installed on school buses, hallways, classrooms, bathroom entrances, etc. enable parents to be reassuring. A majority of parents tend to support installing school security cameras, since the surveillance cameras provide a clear indicator that there are some additional measures to protect their children.

Downside of Security Cameras in Schools

There are 3 main reasons why some of the teachers and students are against installing school security cameras, and arguing that CCTV shouldn’t be installed in school. Check the disadvantages of CCTV cameras in schools & classrooms below.

Legality & privacy violation

In fact, the privacy issue is regarded as the biggest concern and disadvantages of CCTV in schools for some. Teachers and students would concern whether there are any hidden cameras installed somewhere they are not aware of, which would invade their personal privacy.


The cost of purchasing and installing school CCTV security camera systems would be high. Monitoring and maintaining them adds extra expenses. If security cameras are vandalized or stolen by others, it can be very costly.

Influence trust of teachers & students

With the surveillance of school security cameras, teachers and students would feel that the school principals don’t trust them. And everyone is afraid to do anything close to fun for fear that it would be seen as a negative thing and used against them. And the installation of school security cameras could lead to a "guilty until proven innocent" attitude.

Some of the educators feel that surveillance in schools will create an authoritarian atmosphere, and students may come to school with a sense of apprehension.

Best Security Cameras & Systems for Schools

As long as school security cameras (systems) are installed properly, which doesn't invade teachers' and students' privacy, school CCTV cameras will only enhance the safety and security of school teachers and students.

You can check the some high-quality school security cameras and systems below. The recommended picks are all plug-and-play type with favorable prices.

This security camera is one of the most popular and suitable for institutions. The vandal-proof design protects the camera from being tempered by intruders.

Reolink RLC-842A

4K PoE IP Camera with Intelligent Detection

4K 8MP Ultra HD, Person/Vehicle Alerts, 5X Optical Zoom, IK10 Vandal Proof, Audio Recording, Live View Anytime, IP66 Certified Weatherproof.

The 4K 8MP high definition offers super clear images, so you can identify the details you want in case a crime happens. With such versatile CCTV security cameras installed on the public, private, elementary, secondary school campuses, the principals can ensure the safety of both teachers and students.

This CCTV system for school comes with 4 cameras and 1 NVR for 24/7 recording, which offers you all-around security for your campus. With this all-in-one security camera system, you can cover a wide range of your school campus. One of the bonus point of this school CCTV camera system is that it can work in locations where the Internet is unavailable. So you can still get video surveillance for some of school areas without Internet access.

Reolink RLK8-800B4

4K 8-Channel PoE Security System

4 pcs 4K Ultra HD Security Cameras; 2TB HDD 8-Channel NVR for 24/7 Recording; Person/Vehicle Detection; Plug & Play; 2 Network Solutions.

By installing the 24/7 CCTV security camera systems for the school entrances, gates/doors, school zones, and other public locations, the principals can check what’s going on by playing back the recorded videos and make sure everything is on track.

Sometimes, school surveillance cameras need to be placed in outdoor spaces, such as playgrounds, sports fields, amphitheaters, etc. In these cases, the Reolink Duo 3 PoE can be a good choice. This dual-lens security camera integrates two lenses into one single housing and provides a 180-degree panoramic view. It can effective reduce blind spots in schools and prevent crimes from happening in hidden corners.

Reolink Duo 3 PoE

Groundbreaking 16MP Dual-Lens PoE Camera

16MP UHD, Dual-Lens, Motion Track, 180° Wide Viewing Angle, Power over Ethernet, Color Night Vision.

Moreover, it’s best to use the security camera companion software to avoid compatibility issues. Actually most security camera manufacturer has their own for free. For example, the Duo 3 PoE is compatible with the Reolink app/client. The school security team can assess the video footage at any time.

Where to Place Surveillance Systems for Schools

School CCTV cameras should be strategically placed in different locations to maximize the surveillance effectiveness. Here are some details of where to and not to install school security cameras.

Please note that there are strict laws on audio recording. Without the consent of people being monitored, it's illegal to do sound recording.

  • School parking lots
  • School classrooms
  • School buses
  • Loading and unloading zones
  • Hallways and corridors
  • Campus entrances and main offices
  • Cafeterias and restroom entrances
  • Labs and shops
  • Gymnasiums

At the same time, school security cameras should not be allowed in the below places:

  • Bathrooms
  • Locker rooms
  • Other places that related to personal privacy


Are School Security Cameras Always On?

Yes, it's necessary to keep school management security camera systems on all the time in case of any unusual events. 24/7 video surveillance cameras can record everything happened for later playback if any crime events happen.

Do Schools Security Cameras Record Audio?

As mentioned above, laws have strict legislation on audio recording. Laws require that one person must know about the audio recording taking place. So in most cases, there would be no audio recording of school security cameras installed in classrooms, buses, parking lots, libraries, etc.

How Long Do School Cameras Keep CCTV Footage?

On average, the footage recorded by school security cameras would be kept for about 30-90 days, but the recording period would vary among schools and intuitions. The school security monitoring systems will automatically overwrite the oldest recorded videos once the storage space runs out.


School security cameras do help to deter vandalism, stop school bullying, and offer peace of mind for parents. However, it's equally important to strike a balance between enhancing safety and respecting the privacy rights of students and staff.

Does your school have security cameras? Do you think school security cameras are useful? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below! We'd love to hear from you.


All Comments Are Welcome

When not diving into writing about home security, Elvia spends her time watching movies, hiking, reading, etc. Also, she is a big fan of Star War and Orphan Black.