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Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools Board to consider $6.8M classroom camera proposal

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Posted at 2:16 PM, Oct 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-26 07:11:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Kansas, Public School District’s Board of Education reviewed a proposal Tuesday night that would spend nearly $6.8 million on a project to add cameras to school classrooms.

The proposal, put together by Kansas City, Missouri-based Kansas City Audio-Visual, would call for the installation of 1,600 cameras through district buildings. The fisheye cameras would integrate with the district’s existing security system for teacher and student safety.

Cameras would also be a tool for teaching and professional development.

It was a full house Tuesday night when the proposal was discussed at a KCKPS public board meeting.

The agendasays the cameras would allow the recording and sharing of teacher lessons in the instance of teacher shortages and student absences. It also says the recordings would also be used to improve teaching practices.

The plan has the support of several district officials, including Superintendent Dr. Anna Stubblefield.

But not everyone is in favor of the potential for cameras in the classroom.

“I worry about our teachers, I worry especially about our vulnerable students,” KCKPS teaching aide Barbara Williams said.

Williams also vocalized concern on the reliance of virtual teaching methods.

“They’re our future, they’re my future, and I want to have a little bit of a say to maybe help them along and provide a brighter future for all of us,” she said.

Wyandotte High School teacher Carolyn Hummel told KSHB 41 News that there are other improvements she'd like to see at her school that she believes are a higher priority.

“It was built in 1935 and they made 27 different entrances into our building, and not one of those doors is alarmed.”

There was no vote during Tuesday's meeting, but the board took a motion for a special public meeting on the topic.

KSHB 41 News will provide updates on the meeting, and the vote that follows.