FILE:  EBCB-P

Cf:  EBCB, JGCE

 

VIDEO SURVEILLANCE PROCEDURES

 

 

  1. Purpose

    The Natchitoches Parish School Board and school officials are committed to providing a safe learning environment for students and staff and to safeguarding School Board facilities and equipment.  In accordance with School Board policy, video/audio surveillance systems may be used on School Board property, in buildings and facilities belonging to, leased, or used by the School Board, and on any vehicle owned, leased or used by the School Board to transport students for school-sponsored activities and to conduct School Board business.

 

  1. Definitions

    For the purposes of these procedures, the term video surveillance shall mean the use of digital video, videotape or any other tape, computer hard-drive, CD, disk, or other device or medium used to store information from a video surveillance system.  The term video surveillance system means a fixed or portable closed circuit television camera, video, physical or other mechanical, electronic, or digital surveillance system or device that enables continuous or periodic video recording, observing, or monitoring of individuals in public spaces. Some video recording devices may also capture audio recordings.

    For purposes of these procedures, an incident is an alleged event occurring in an area in which video surveillance is in operation, notification has been provided to the appropriate School District official, and an investigation has been completed by appropriate school and/or law enforcement officials.

 

  1. Authority

    Surveillance cameras may be placed and used in locations deemed appropriate by the Superintendent or his/her designee.  Building principals shall be responsible for the implementation of safety and security measures at assigned schools and the proper use of surveillance systems at such schools.  The principal shall coordinate placement and use of video surveillance systems with the Superintendent and equipment installer.  Surveillance cameras shall be used in a professional and ethical manner in accordance with School Board policy and procedures, and local, state and federal laws and regulations.

  2. Location

    Surveillance equipment may only be placed in public areas of school property including but not limited to hallways, classrooms, cafeterias, common areas, and the exterior of school premises.  No cameras may be placed in areas where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy (e.g., restrooms, locker rooms, changing areas).  Video monitors, if used, will be positioned in a way to avoid public viewing.

  3. Control and Enforcement

    Only authorized personnel shall have access to surveillance equipment.  Staff and students shall be prohibited from tampering with, disabling, or otherwise interfering with video cameras and other related surveillance equipment.  Students or staff in violation of School Board policies, administrative regulations, school rules, these procedures, or civil or criminal laws shall be subject to disciplinary action, including referral to law enforcement officials as may be appropriate.

 

  1. Any activities detected through video/audio surveillance that present a breach of security or possible criminal activity shall immediately be reported to the building principal or facilities administrator.

  2. The principal or facilities administrator shall report such activity to the Superintendent and shall promptly begin an investigation.

  3. If it is determined through investigation that a student or staff member has committed an unlawful or unsafe act in violation of school rules, appropriate disciplinary steps shall be taken.

  4. Any activity detected through video surveillance that may constitute a violation of law by any individual shall be promptly reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

 

Storage/Security

 

Security and storage of video images obtained during video surveillance shall be the responsibility of the designated principal, facility administrator, or transportation administrator.

 

  1. All video recordings shall be stored and secured to ensure confidentiality.

  2. Video recordings shall be stored for a reasonable period of time after initial recording, after which time such recordings may be erased.

  3. Video recordings maintained for review of student or staff activities shall be maintained in original form pending investigation or completion of analysis.  The retention period may be extended at the request of the School Board's legal counsel or law enforcement or as required by law.

 

  1. Guiding Principles

    Public Awareness

 

  1. Signs shall be posted in various locations to inform students, staff, and the public that video surveillance cameras are in use.

  2. Notice regarding the use of video surveillance devices will be placed in the district policy and procedure handbook.

 

Use of Information

 

  1. Use of video/audio surveillance will comply with applicable federal and state laws governing wiretapping/electronic surveillance and the privacy of student  records, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:3914.

  2. Video/audio surveillance may be used in proceedings related to law enforcement and for other purposes authorized by the School Board and/or Superintendent, including observation and analysis of transportation safety and educational activities.  School officials shall not use the recordings for annual teacher evaluations. However, the recordings may be used in an employee disciplinary proceeding such as a teacher termination hearing or teaching license revocation hearing.

 

Records

 

  1. The School Board shall comply with state and federal laws and regulations regarding personally identifiable student records, including video recordings.  Disclosure of a video recording to the parent/guardian of a student who has been video recorded, or student of majority age, will not be permitted unless the student is the only subject on the recording or written consent has been obtained from the parents/guardians of all other students on the video.  Upon written request, School Board officials shall provide a written summary of the recorded incident to the parents/guardians of a student pictured on a video recording.

  2. Video recordings considered for retention as part of an employee's personnel record shall be maintained in accordance with established School Board policies, administrative procedures, and applicable laws and regulations.

 

Viewing

 

  1. Video/audio recordings are confidential.  Requests for viewing are subject to approval by the Superintendent and governed by federal and state laws and regulations and Board policy and procedures.  Requests for reviewing recordings in response to an incident are limited.  The appropriate parent/guardian of a student involved in an alleged incident documented by the recording (or student 18 years of older), principal, transportation administrator, school employee involved in an alleged incident documented by the recording, law enforcement officer, or others deemed appropriate by the Superintendent or designee may make a written request to access the recording of an incident.

  2. Requests for viewing by parents/students of majority age will be honored only if the requested video constitutes an educational record of the student.

  3. If recordings are available, requests for viewing must be made in writing to the Superintendent or designee.

  4. Only the portion of the recording concerning the requesting individual will be made available for viewing in accordance with School Board procedures.  Video recordings remain the property of the School Board and may not be reproduced without the written consent of a designated School Board official.

  5. Approval/denial for viewing will be made within a reasonable period of time from receipt of a request and will be communicated to the requesting individual.

  6. Recordings will be made available for a reasonable period of time from the date of approval of a request.

  7. Actual viewing will be permitted only at School Board sites (e.g., central office, school) or as required by law.

  8. A written log will be maintained of those viewing recordings, including the date of viewing, reason for viewing, date of the video recording, identification of videoed vehicle where applicable, and signature of viewer.

 

  1. Purchase and Maintenance

 

  1. Purchase of all video equipment and supplies, maintenance, and replacement will follow the School Board approval process.

  2. Vehicle drivers are responsible for care of video equipment while operating school district vehicles.

  3. Principals and building administrators are responsible for the care of video equipment on School Board property.

 

  1. Limitations

    The use of video surveillance cameras and equipment by the School Board in no way imposes any duty on the School Board or its assigns to regularly monitor live images and/or video recordings and does not place an additional duty on the School Board or its assigns regarding the safety of a School Board facility, vehicle, or other School Board property under surveillance.

 

  1. Child Abuse Reporting

    If a security recording documents the possible abuse of a child, the reviewer shall report the incident to Child Protective Services for investigation in accordance with the Children's Code (See policy JGCE, Child Abuse).

 

New procedures:  December 7, 2017

 

 

Ref:    La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §17:81

Board minutes, 12-7-17

 

Natchitoches Parish School Board