SECURITY – VIDEO SURVEILLANCE AT SCHOOL SITES
1.a Consultation with parents shall precede any video surveillance approval and shall be conducted at the school level. District partner groups shall be informed. The process for school level consultation shall include an information package to be sent to parents, staff and students (where appropriate) and any other parties requesting information. The immediate surrounding community shall be informed prior to deployment, by whatever means deemed appropriate by the principal. This information package should normally include:
- A description of the problem that video surveillance deployment is proposed to control.
- A schedule of the consultation process including the place for a meeting where interested parties can provide their input, the format for input/dialogue/feedback, and when the final decision will be made.
- A copy of the District Video Surveillance Policy.
- Details of alternatives tried or considered and why they were, or are, considered to be ineffective.
- The location(s) being proposed for the surveillance cameras.
- The length of time to be deployed, the reasons for the time frame selected and the date that the deployment will come up for review.
1.b The completed proposal for deployment shall be forwarded to the Superintendent and shall include:
- A clear and concise statement on the reasons for deployment.
- A copy of the consultation package that was circulated to stakeholder groups.
- Information that reflects a sufficient level of support from the various stakeholder groups.
- Evidence of alternatives tried and the results of such efforts.
- Evidence of alternatives considered but not tried and the reasons why they cannot be tried or are not applicable.
- Intended outcomes from the deployment.
- The actions, if any, that are being contemplated to deal with the underlying problems or issues.
- A physical deployment plan.
- The length of time to be deployed, including reasons for the time frame as well as a review date.
1.c The Superintendent, in reviewing a proposal for deployment, shall ensure that its contents, and the process that developed it, conform to the rules and spirit of this policy. The Superintendent may delegate this procedure.
2.0 Authorized and Prohibited Use
2.a Video surveillance cameras may be used pursuant to an approved deployment plan where:
- There has been prior property damage and the proposed surveillance is anticipated to be a viable deterrent to future damage.
- There is a threat to the safety or security of students, staff or public resulting from extraordinary circumstances that would not be routinely monitored by normal supervision.
- There have been reported occurrences of criminal activity.
2.b Video surveillance cameras are prohibited and shall not:
- Be used for any form of supervision that would or could be routinely carried out by supervisory personnel.
- Be used for active monitoring.
- Be deployed inside a school with the exception of hallways, stairwells and other common areas and only then in extraordinary circumstances.
- Be operational in the facility during normal school hours except in extraordinary circumstances.
2.c Primary use shall not be for disciplinary purposes.
2.d Any change in camera locations must be approved by the principal and must be consistent with the approved deployment plan.
2.e Cameras shall be directed only at school property and shall not be aimed in any direction that provides a view through windows to areas inside the school buildings or at non-school properties.
3.a Public notification signs, clearly written and prominently displayed, will be placed in areas that are subject to video surveillance. The notices will include:
- Contact information to allow persons to ask questions regarding the surveillance system.
- Times during which the surveillance system is operational.
4.a Designated employees or agents of the school district shall be the only authorized personnel to install video cameras.
4.b Only the principal or a person authorized by the principal shall have access to the key that opens the camera boxes.
4.c Only the principal or designate shall have access to the computer or media on which video surveillance records are stored.
4.d The computer and/or recording media shall be stored in a secure area to which only the principal or designate has access.
4.e Recordings may never be sold, publicly viewed or distributed in any way except as provided for by this policy and appropriate legislation.
5.0 Viewing and Documenting of Recordings
5.a Recordings may be viewed only when there has been apparent damage to school property or a reported incident of criminal activity.
5.b Each occurrence of access to video surveillance records shall be documented including:
- The date and time that the records were accessed.
- The persons who viewed the records.
- The reason that the records were accessed.
- Subsequent actions resulting from the viewing.
5.c Access records shall be forwarded to the Superintendent at the end of each deployment period and extension thereof.
5.d Recordings may be viewed only by the Principal, the Superintendent, a person designated by the Superintendent, or by parents and students pursuant to paragraph 5(e) or others under 5(f).
5.e Pursuant to the rules and restrictions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, parents or guardians may request to view a segment of a recording that includes their child(ren).
Students may view segments of a recording relating to themselves, if they are capable of exercising their own access to information rights under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Viewing by a student, parent, or guardian must be in the presence of the Principal. Prior to viewing a recording, a student, parent or guardian shall be informed of their right to request that an advocate be present and shall be provided reasonable time to consider this right and arrange for an advocate, if so desired.
Viewing may be refused or limited where it would be an unreasonable invasion of a third party’s personal privacy, where it would give rise to a concern for a third party’s safety, or where there is any other ground recognized under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
5.f Incoming requests for recordings or viewings from other public bodies or law enforcement agencies must be justified and must contain the following information:
- The name of the individual whose information is requested.
- The precise nature of the information requested.
- The authority for the investigation.
- The purpose for which the requesting public body will use the information.
- The name, title and address of the person authorized to make the request.
- If pursuant to a court order, a copy of the order.
6.0 Retention of Recorded Information
6.a All recordings shall be erased within two months except:
- Where an incident raises the prospect of a legal claim by or against the School District, the recording, or a copy of it, shall be sent to the Secretary-Treasurer’s Office upon request.
- Where the Principal, Superintendent, student, parent, guardian, or staff member has requested that the recording be held relating to a specific incident that has not yet been resolved.
- Where the recording has been used in the making of a decision about an individual, in which case the recording must be kept for a minimum of one year as required by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, unless earlier erasure is authorized by or on behalf of the individual.
7.0 Extension of Deployment Period
7.a At least 30 days prior to the expiration date of any deployment period or extension thereof, a proposal for deployment extension may be made to the Superintendent and shall include:
- A clear and concise statement on the reasons for continued deployment.
- Information on the impact of deployment on the problem that deployment sought to control as well as on privacy rights.
- Evidence that the various stakeholder groups continue to support the deployment.
- Update on other actions used or being contemplated to deal with the underlying problems or issues.
- Length of time extension is requested.
Greater Victoria School District
- Approved: October 2005