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School disciplining with hidden cameras - AIBU to find this a bit off?

(51 Posts)
SchoolIssue1 Thu 02-Feb-17 17:51:16

DD started school in September and is in Reception. She has a few mild SN and is very sensitive. She is extremely eager to please and never puts a foot wrong.

She has started crying about going to school saying she is scared of the cameras. I couldn't make head nor tail of what it was at first so asked the class teacher if she could shed any light on it at all. She said no, that she didn't know what that could be. DD said last night that her teacher has said that there are cameras everywhere watching for naughty children - in the toilets, in the playground, in the cloakroom etc. I have asked a few other parents and they have confirmed that their children have said the same.

It doesn't sit right with me. Surely that's not a great way to discipline young children? Also, why would the teacher not tell me when I asked her about it?

I'm feeling really uneasy. Am I losing perspective?

SasBel Thu 02-Feb-17 17:53:08

That is awful, I guess that there are no cameras and that the teacher is using the fear of observation to control the children. Speak to the head and find out.

samG76 Thu 02-Feb-17 17:53:47

Maybe the teacher told them that to discourage them from lying if, eg, asked what happened after an incident. I doubt if there are actually cameras in the cloakroom and toilets - would lead to all sorts of issues....

SchoolIssue1 Thu 02-Feb-17 17:56:36

No I am sure there are no cameras - just seems a very negative way to discipline - through fear rather than them wanting to do the right thing.

Laceandlove Thu 02-Feb-17 17:56:45

I agree sounds like the teacher said it as a deterrent - but totally not acceptable thing to say to reception age!!

blueirishues Thu 02-Feb-17 17:57:08

I think it's fine, but I teach secondary.

iamapixiebutnotaniceone Thu 02-Feb-17 17:57:17

My daughter's school have recently installed cameras in the cloakrooms and corridors because of issues with behaviour, they did have to make parents fully aware first though.
Just a thought. Did the teacher use a 'Santa Cam' over Christmas? My friends son was absolutely horrified at the idea of them.

RebelRogue Thu 02-Feb-17 17:58:49

There would be no actual cameras. Either something has already happened and the teacher is using the threat of "i'm going to watch the CCTV tonight" to get the guilty party to come clean, or just to avoid messing around. Toilets and cloakrooms would be the most likely places for fights to break out,kids to be silly or up to no good.

Euphemia Thu 02-Feb-17 18:01:12

You'd be amazed the number of times we've got the truth out of kids once we said we'd play back the CCTV!

blueirishues Thu 02-Feb-17 18:03:49

Yes, Euphemia!

EduCated Thu 02-Feb-17 18:04:58

It may well have been a silly throwaway joke on the teacher's part, but one which has missed the mark and which they've possibly even forgotten they ever said. I'd perhaps have another chat with the teacher and let them know how worried your DD is and ask if they can reassure her that there aren't any cameras.

youarenotkiddingme Thu 02-Feb-17 18:06:01

My friend and I use to tell our lot this! Because they all had different versions of the 'truth' over what had happened. She has 2 and I have 1 DC. Mostly the stories tended to less favour the one theyd decided it to rather than the one at fault!

Eg - her 2 would take the sibling stance, or they'd have fallen out and my Ds version of events would favour the one who was nicest to him that day wink

I don't completely disagree with it (toilets is a step too far!) but children learning they can be seen behaving badly wherever and whenever (cameras or hidden person) isn't too much of a bad lesson.

I'd just tell my Ds to make sure he behaves then! (And he also has an and anxiety)

AlmostAJillSandwich Thu 02-Feb-17 18:12:35

Sounds to me the teacher lied to you when she said she had no idea what "cameras" your DD was referring to. She's used the "i'm always watching and see everything you do" scare tactic to control the children, which isn't on. She probably knows it wasn't acceptable and so played dumb. Absolutely go in and talk to her, tell her that you do not approve of her telling lies to your child, especially ones made to scare, and that you expect her to explain to not just your child, but all of them, that there are no cameras. I doubt she'll want to, as the other kids then might act up etc, but it really is not ok to lie to them and tell them things that is this distressing to even one child in the class.

RebelRogue Thu 02-Feb-17 18:17:28

Btw,does the school actually have any actual CCTV at all? Ours does for entrances and playground,so the kids are more likely to believe the "right I'm off to check the CCTV if no one admits to it".

user1484226561 Thu 02-Feb-17 18:19:44

this is identical to a thread a few months ago

minionsrule Thu 02-Feb-17 18:21:47

Not much different to the Elf on the Shelf really and lots of people seem to swear by that (not me mind!)

pinkdelight Thu 02-Feb-17 18:26:31

A teacher at my DCs school uses this trick, in the same way as Euphemia mentioned. I think it's genius.

WhereYouLeftIt Thu 02-Feb-17 18:27:40

"Also, why would the teacher not tell me when I asked her about it?"
That's a question I would be putting to the Headteacher.

barinatxe Thu 02-Feb-17 18:34:34

For what it's worth, I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with there being CCTV cameras in schools. Not for the purpose of people watching for "naughty" children, but as proof or otherwise of inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour.

If an allegation was made about a teacher, there would be concrete proof either way. If there was a fight where two children were blaming each other, there would be evidence rather than it being one child's word against that of another.

CCTV in offices is commonplace. There have to be signs up, there has to be a clear policy on who can view the footage and what it can be used for (so footage from a camera that is there for "crime prevention" couldn't be used as evidence for breaches of dress code, for example).

Remember that you are legally entitled to request any footage that shows you. If the school is actually recording, they will be obliged to provide you with it within 40 days - they can charge you a fee but the maximum is £10. Write your request to view any footage of your child, ask them to confirm their charge (max £10) and await their official response.

They will either have to comply or admit the teacher was lying, either way it will be embarrassing for them.

allowlsthinkalot Fri 03-Feb-17 09:05:08

How odd, we've had this very issue this week. Dd in year 2 and Dd2 in Reception told that there are cameras in school and the Head can see who's misbehaving.

It isn't acceptable. Mainly because it isn't true. Children need to be able to trust the people looking after them. There is no cctv whatsoever in our school, it is a lie, not even an exaggeration.

80sMum Fri 03-Feb-17 09:09:01

Our school has cctv cameras in various places. Is that not the norm nowadays?

Floggingmolly Fri 03-Feb-17 09:09:05

If the kids aren't misbehaving, what's the problem? She hardly thinks she'll get into trouble for doing nothing??

7to25 Fri 03-Feb-17 09:09:06

We didn't have CCTV but the nuns who taught me had "God sees!"
Very effective.

Parietal Fri 03-Feb-17 09:10:43

I agree it is not a good idea to lie to kids about there being cameras.

I wonder - a generation ago, kids might be told that God is always watching you even if you do something bad. Obviously teachers can't use that now, so they threaten cameras instead.

faithinthesound Fri 03-Feb-17 09:12:18

How is this any different to telling a child "God is always watching and sees everything you do"?

Apart from the fact that God has a right to watch everything a child does, and a teacher, not so much!!!

This harkens back to a really ancient method of discipline through self regulation known as the panopticon. The idea was that prisoners (yes, I know, bear with me) would be housed in cells that were built around the outer layer of a circular building. In the middle of said building would be a tower, with one guard. The guard might be watching you, might not - but the point was, he could be, at any given moment, and the prisoners had no way of knowing. Therefore, the threat of quite possibly being watched, even if they weren't actually being physically watched, kept the prisoners in line.

I'm not condoning what this teacher said because she's clearly frightened the heebie jeebies out of your child, but it's sadly not a new idea sad It's a very old, and not very humane one. Having said that, the world we're living in is increasingly becoming that same sort of thing, a panopticon, because of the increasing use of video for surveillance and so on... scary stuff indeed even for a grown up (Big Brother is watching!!) so I can see a child being terrified by it.

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