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Fairfax County Schools Give OK to Indoor Surveillance Cameras

8 of 12 school board members vote yes

Friday, Dec 16, 2011  |  Updated 12:11 PM EDT
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The Fairfax Board of Education decided that indoor surveillance cameras were OK in county high schools, after resisting the devices out of privacy concerns.

Tracee Wilkins

The Fairfax Board of Education decided that indoor surveillance cameras were OK in county high schools, after resisting the devices out of privacy concerns.

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School principals got their wish in Fairfax County - the school board gave a green light to indoor surveillance cameras in a Thursday vote.

Eight of the board's 12 members voted for the measure on Thursday. It allows high school principals who can demonstrate community support for the cameras to install them in gathering places, such as cafeterias and hallways. They will not be allowed in classrooms, locker rooms or restrooms.

Surveillance cameras are already allowed in outdoor areas at Fairfax County schools, and both indoor and outdoor cams are in use in many other Virginia school districts.

Fairfax has long resisted the cameras due to concerns about student privacy, but concern for student safety won out.
 
Fairfax officials estimate it would cost $880,000 to install cameras in all high schools, and about $100,000 annually for maintenance. Officials say the money would come from non-instructional funds.

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