Iowa School District Adopts Body Cameras

The Burlington Community School District will give its principals body worn cameras next school year in a move district officials hope improve school safety.

A school district in Iowa has decided to give its principals and assistant principals body worn cameras to monitor interactions with students and parents.

The Burlington Community School District in southeastern Iowa will spend roughly $1,100 for 13 cameras that can be clipped onto clothing or lanyards and be turned on and off when needed, according to desmoinesregister.com.

The district, which includes eight school buildings and around 4,300 students, already has surveillance cameras installed in school hallways, lunch rooms and school busses. But the decision to equip school administrators with cameras has been met with criticism by some who worry about student privacy. Ken Trump of the National School Safety and Security Services said the cameras represent an overreach of the school’s powers.

Principals will upload the recordings to a computer each day and may review and distribute footage to parents or other school employees if needed. Last school year a principal at the district’s Leopold Middle School was accused of kicking a student. Someone had recorded the incident and the footage was used to end the controversy.

Campus Safety had previously reported on many police units being equipped with body worn cameras. The Des Moines Police Department, which is just under a three hour drive from the Burlington school district, decided to outfit its police with cameras earlier this year.

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