Thursday, July 25, 2024

Body camera use outside police force

Body cameras on police officers have been seen as a solution in the time where the distrust of the police force has been fairly common. Ferguson and the tragic death of Eric Garner are just two examples.

“Cameras provide a neutral record of events, so we have a better idea what happened during an encounter,” according to writer Steven Strauss from the Los Angeles Times.

The article stated that through research, police officers wearing body cameras greatly reduces citizen complaints and an officer’s force during an arrest.

Now, the positive results of body cameras are being considered as a tool that teachers, and maybe even doctors should use. In fact, Iowa’s Burlington school district had 15 body cameras in use starting last fall, according to an article from, a Massachusetts news station website.

The reasoning behind body cameras in school is simple. People want to hold the actions of a student or teacher accountable in a disagreement or fight, especially in a high-strung situation. A body camera can ensure that the review of the struggle is fair, so there is no case of he-said, she-said, because the actions are on video to see.

Some teachers have growing concerns about body cameras.

“I can’t imagine being a teacher filming students and expecting them to be honest with me and forming an educational relationship where we’ll learn together,” Jason Surprise, a teacher at Chicopee High School, said in the same article.

Surprise does have a point. How can a student trust their teacher and environment if they feel as if they’re being put under a microscope?

While teachers have been propositioned for body cameras, doctors are being focused on as well. Too many people are still mistreated today in hospitals. Harvard Professor of Public Health David Williams conducted research and found that minorities receive poor quality care overall, from fewer tests to fewer treatments according to the same Los Angeles Times article.

The article also found that there have been several accusations that medical personnel have sexually assaulted patients while on duty. This is awful and greater lengths should be taken to make sure this doesn’t happen.

It seems that using a body camera could remedy these situations.

While the idea of a camera placed on somebody you’re interacting with can be invasive and jarring, I do think it could be helpful.

As said earlier, body cameras have lowered crime rates and have limited the amount of force police use on suspects. This could carry on into a teacher-student environment, where situations such as Waleed Abushaaban, a 12-year-old student who was called a terrorist by his teacher, can’t be considered doubtful because there is a proper record of the teacher’s actions.

However, the relationships that we build with our teachers and doctors are rooted in trust, and now this trust comes into question. How do you maintain a relationship that’s constantly being monitored and waiting for you to trip up? If you do, what if the person at fault destroys the camera?

It’s a lot to think about, especially in a world where terrible things happen in hospitals and schools on a daily basis. Body cameras could be an amazing solution, but it could also affect doctor-patient confidentiality and privacy in an extremely negative way.

Email Shania Savastio at

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