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Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools board no longer considering cameras in classrooms

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Posted at 3:39 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 18:39:59-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After proposing a nearly $6.8-million project to add cameras to school classrooms, the Kansas City, Kansas, Public School District’s Board of Education has scrapped the idea.

The KCKPS board is set to review the update at its board meeting Tuesday night.

A staff survey conducted last November by the KCKPS board garnered 1,480 responses with more than 86% of respondents not in favor of having cameras in the classroom for security and surveillance issues.

Almost 90% were against having cameras in the classroom for instructional purposes to enhance academic purposes as well as for security and surveillance.

Concerns included the overall cost of the project and added stress on students and staff to “perform” for the camera.

KCKPS hosted three community meetings in December to gather feedback on the project.

Concerns about privacy and surveillance topped the feedback received at the meetings — specifically about the security of the footage collected, who would have access to it, and how the data collected would be used.

Other concerns included the impact on staff and teachers, the use of alternative expenses, student and family support, logistics of the project, method of instruction, safety and security, internet reliability, expected outcomes and legal concerns.

The proposal, put together by Kansas City, Missouri-based Kansas City Audio-Visual, was originally reviewed by the KCKPS board last October. It was estimated that 1,600 cameras would be installed throughout district buildings.

An agenda item for Tuesday said the board may still move forward with cameras in common areas.