November 10, 2019

High-tech surveillance comes at high cost to students. Is it worth it?

Advocates of increased school surveillance often say that even if a few inaccuracies arise, ultimately the benefits of increased safety outweigh the costs. But whose safety are we actually talking about? When schools introduce these technologies, they open the door to labeling students’ normal thoughts, words and movements as dangerous—and potentially involving law enforcement.

A number of tech companies are capitalizing on the growing market for student surveillance measures as various districts and school leaders commit themselves to preventing acts of violence. Rekor Systems, for instance, recently announced the launch of OnGuard, a program that claims to “advance student safety” by implementing countless surveillance and “threat assessment” mechanisms in and around schools.

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