Scott McAngus reports:
Two secondary schools in West Lothian are set to be forced to remove CCTV cameras from the pupil toilets after concerns were raised by parents.
West Calder High and Whitburn Academy have cameras covering the sink areas in toilets, but West Lothian Council is reviewing its guidelines following “a small number of complaints and concerns”.
It launched a consultation and the new rules, if voted through at a meeting tomorrow, would confine cameras to monitoring the doors of toilets.
The council also says CCTV would now only be installed in “sensitive” areas with the support of parent councils and that it would not be moved to other positions. The guidelines are the same for both primary and secondary schools.
Read more on Scotsman.com. In what appears to be a reversal of the norm, some teachers are recognizing the privacy concerns while some parent groups are supporting this use of cameras in the toilets.
The Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers endorsed removing cameras from toilets, but the parent councils at Broxburn Academy, Bellsquarry Primary, Kirkhill Primary and Windyknowe Primary said the benefits outweighed any potential privacy issues.
These are not “potential” privacy issues. They are actual privacy issues. And any parent that thinks this is just fine or necessary should immediately install a camera in their own bathroom pointed at the “sink area” and allow others to view the footage. I think they’d find it very uncomfortable.
Update of 3/24/11 (via BigBrotherWatch.org): the cameras have been removed from both schools’ toilets. Good!