Although security cameras are said to deter crime, in reality, they create more problems than they solve. Scarsdale students already strive for perfection, and security cameras further intensify our fear of making a mistake. The cameras act as a constant supervising force, watching our words and actions not just in the classroom, but also in the places that are supposed to alleviate us from the intense environment of SHS. The presence of security cameras in places such as cafeterias and hallways robs us of the chance to relieve some of our stress. In a dystopian school where Big Brother watches our every move, how can we gripe about a teacher knowing that it can be used against us by the administration?
First there’s the numerical outlook. Being able to say that we have video cameras all around our school not only fortifies our pretentious reputation, but is also a colossal waste of our money. In a community abounding with complaints about high taxes, are cameras a worthwhile expenditure of taxpayer dollars? For the price of purchasing, installing, and maintaining them, think of how many meals we could send to kids in Africa, or how we could actually install that pool on the fourth floor!
Then there are the ethical considerations. As SHS students, our time is exhausted juggling the onus of schoolwork with more extracurriculars than we can count on our fingers. If Scarsdale prides itself on the caliber of its students, then why does it feel the need to watch their every move? The institution of security cameras insinuates a mentality that we, Scarsdale students, cannot be trusted. That, despite constant talk of living in the “Scarsdale Bubble”, Scarsdale not a safe environment at all. We’re throwing thousands of dollars out the window, just to shatter student morale and perhaps catch the anomalous cookie thief? Even if Scarsdale were replete with thieves, such a passive approach to teenage crime would solve nothing.
Furthermore, we can’t ignore the fact that the presence of security cameras crosses the fine line between security and privacy. It’s easy to justify their installation in rooms with expensive technical equipment like the computer labs, but the cafeteria? Surely stealing a brand new MacBook Pro from the library equates with stuffing a french fry in your pocket. Who’s to say what’s next: cameras in the lockerroom? The bathrooms? This infringement upon our rights and privacy is conducive even greater deprivations of personal freedoms. Before we know it, the school will be tracking internet history on our personal accounts, or reading texts sent through the school wifi. The gym teachers will no longer stand apart from the staff with its autocratic iPads, but all teachers will have access to video footage that enables them to watch their students’ every moves. The sneaky student will no longer be able to get away without doing his homework or leave class for half an hour in the hopes of going unnoticed.
Best of all, this intrusive infringement upon our rights, our reputation, and privacy is supposedly for our own good? If we continue on the path we are on now, we will soon be walking through metal detectors as we enter the front doors.