If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If a school installs security cameras but doesn’t properly staff them or make sure they’re functioning, is safety improved?
The School District of Philadelphia says the security cameras at some of the district’s most dangerous schools aren’t meant to be a cure-all. Michael Lodise, president of the school police union, says the cameras are useless.
A report out today from the Inquirer highlights the results of an internal safety audit at the district, which finds mismanagement at some of the schools when it comes to the use of the cameras.
Inspections of 46 schools from last December through this past March found many cameras weren’t working at all, or, if they were being monitored, weren’t being watched by personnel with the proper training. Some of that could be attributed to discrepancies in the reports, due to inspectors using different methods for rating the camera systems.
Of the 19 schools to receive cameras as part of a controversial emergency contract, 16 were graded for their cameras — 13 of which came up with red and yellow ratings, suggesting the camera systems did not meet all or part of the safety standards.