Video Monitoring Has Uses and Misuses

By Edwin C. Darden

Technology can be both a salvation and a curse.

In particular, devices that capture images are useful because they potentially provide irrefutable legal proof of “whodunit.” Yet the key is deploying video and the sometimes accompanying sound in a way that exploits beneficial uses for evidence and recordkeeping purposes while avoiding traps lurking on the underside.

Board members and superintendents have some tough decisions to make, both now and down the road, about the use of video technology. This column explores several instances in which conflict arises from good intentions.

As is true with many education law issues, the rule of reason should prevail. For non-lawyers called upon to make decisions, the icky test is as good as any. If it feels a bit yucky, if it strikes one as slightly wrong or unreasonable, then hesitation and consultation -- with your school attorney -- is in order.

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