NYC public schools, video surveillance, and the criminalization of a generation

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[Stuyvesant students walking to class under video monitoring. Photo by Ali Winston for City Limits]

What do cameras cure? System gets own scrutiny. 

Now in the fourth year of citywide operation, the New York City public school video surveillance program continues full steam ahead even as many parents, advocates, elected officials and students raise serious questions about the system’s effectiveness and transparency.

By the end of 2008, more than 300 middle and high schools in 130 buildings will be equipped with some 6,000 cameras belonging to the Department of Education’s $120 million Internet Protocol Digital Video Surveillance (IPDVS) system, intended to help reduce violence in public schools. Although school officials consider IPDVS a success, problems have cropped up with both its technical workings and people’s ability to gain access to the footage. Read on at City Limits.

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Metal detectors and math classes.

The Internet Protocol Digital Video System is only one aspect of New York City’s school safety program, a joint Department of Education – New York Police Department effort that some student advocates consider so aggressive, they’ve dubbed it the “school to prison pipeline.” In addition to security cameras, the public school atmosphere today includes more than 4,500 uniformed officers patrolling the halls, enforcement of zero-tolerance behavior policies, and thousands of predominantly minority students attending “Impact” schools – a designation given to the most crime-ridden – who must walk through metal detectors and past armed police officers just to get to class. Read on at City Limits.

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Filed under Censorship, Education, Mental Environment, Social Justice, Surveillance

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