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Last Updated: Monday September 15 2008 18:54 GMT

Is it a good idea to have CCTV cameras in schools?

CCTV camera

More and more schools are using CCTV cameras to watch what you get up to during and between lessons.

Some teachers think they're good for security and help to tackle bullying and vandalism. Others worry about how the footage is used.

But what do you think? Are there CCTV cameras at your school? Do they make you feel safer?

If you don't have the cameras in class, would you like them? Maybe you think cameras are a good idea in the playground, but not in class?

Would you be better behaved if you were always being watched? Or do you think the cameras are an invasion of your privacy?

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your comments

"I think it's an invasion of personal space because in my school they have them in the toilets."

Lucy, 11, Manchester, England

"I have security cameras at my school and I hardly notice they're there. I still do things that I would normally do, and don't feel as if I'm being spied on, but I feel safer."

Holly, 12, Brighton, England

"Gosh, no, they rebuilt our school and put cameras in there and now I feel I can't do things like dance around like I used to. I'm a bit strange like that :D"

Sarah, 12, Bristol, England

"CCTV should be used in schools - for safety and to prevent stealing. The school where my mum works has just had 14 computers stolen. Perhaps CCTV could have stopped this. It's the kids who now suffer."

Louisa, 14, Watford, England

"It is a terrible idea! Teachers would know all about your personal life, and I need privacy."

Ellen, 12, USA

"No, it's just weird. We ought to be trusted, and there are other, more effective surveillance methods such as actual people on patrol."

Claire, 14, Devon, England

"In my school, they are everywhere. It's really annoying but I think they don't necessarily stop you from behaving badly because they are quite hard to find. They really don't give us privacy, though, because there are even some where we get changed!"

Sophia, 11, Cambridge, England

"I think it's good in one way because then people can see if kids are being naughty and if they do anything bad. But in another way I think it's not really fair on the people that are always good and especially when you are in the toilet you would want some privacy. It's not really nice."

Kassie, 11, Crawley, England

"It is a good idea. Most of the time it is only used for good, to help catch thieves and stop people doing things they shouldn't in school. By law the footage can't be shown to anyone outside school staff, authorities or parents - so I don't worry about who is seeing it."

Lizzie, 12, England

"Yeah, because our school has been broken into loads of times!!"

Harriet, 10, Stockport, England

"In my primary school we didn't have any cameras but now I'm in secondary school we have ones outside the school entrances, in the computer rooms and in some of the newly-built rooms. They are only in there so that kids don't take things!"

Joey, 12, Kent, England

"It's not comfortable having people watch your every move."

Michelle, 13, Edinburgh, Scotland

"I think CCTV in schools is ridiculous because you have no privacy, but can be good in some ways because then the teachers will know who's being picked on."

Suzi, 12, Chorley, England

"We already have them in our school in the toilets, classrooms, dining halls, playgrounds, PE hall, reception, library, SEN rooms, closets and directly above the lockers! So, yeah, it feels like a prison."

Tracy, 12, Leicester, England

"It's a good idea to stop bullying but you do sometimes need some privacy."

Tom, 10, Bristol, England

"My school has them, but not in the toilets. That idea sounds horrible!"

Melyssa, 13, Brooklyn, USA

"The cameras at our school don't prevent the students from misbehaving but help catch them."

Nayyar, 13, London, England

"This is a good thing because people will not get bullied!"

Adam, 14, Sheffield, England

"I think that they should not have them because we need our space and we don't need the teachers to watch us all the time."

Heather-May, 13, Derby, England

"Americans generally have CCTV cameras in school halls already, thanks in part to Columbine. But think about this: in the United States we go to school with CCTV, but in the UK, you walk down the street on CCTV. To Americans, the idea of being watched as we walk down the street is horrifying. Also, only vandalism and physical overt bullying are affected by CCTV cameras, if you think about it."

Megan, 14, Orlando, USA

"I can agree that they are good, but get them out of the bathrooms (loos)!!!"

Hayley, 11, San Francisco, USA

"I think that CCTV cameras are a good idea on the OUTSIDE of the school but not on the inside. Do we not get any privacy?? Not even in the toilets? Would they put them in the staff rooms so they can see what the teachers are doing?? I doubt it, so why watch us? If we wanted to be in the Big Brother house, we would!"

Hayleigh, 13, Exeter, England

"Our school has CCTV in the corridors, but not in the classrooms. It works to a certain extent, but what would be going on inside goes on outside. So it doesn't make too much of a difference."

Stephanie, 13, Ireland

"Do adults not trust us? We have quite a lot of cameras at our school suspended on poles so they can see EVERYWHERE!"

Julia, 13, Norwich, England

"I think that having CCTV in school is good if you get bullied or don't feel safe but having it in the toilets sounds horrible."

Emma, 11, North Wales

"I think the CCTV cameras are good because then more annoying and bad people can be caught and there's evidence as well. I don't really think about them much because ours are very modernized and look like lamps! And I don't really worry because I rarely do things wrong."

Sophie, 12, Eastbourne, England

"There are no security cameras at my school, but I think we should install them in the corridors but not in the toilets, because you need your privacy."

Ciara, 11, Ireland

"Well, I go to a school that has cameras in the loos as well as in corridors and playgrounds but not all of them work. It feels like you're in a prison because there are so many cameras."

Kimberley, 14, England

"We've had CCTV cameras in our school for ages! I think they're a good thing because when I got my eye cut with a thrown bottle, they were able to find out who did it."

Lucy, 12, Manchester, England

"There will be no freedom at school and less people will like school then."

MM, 11, London, England

"I think the CCTV cameras are fine but then again, putting them in the toilets is way crossing the line."

Awo, 13, Sheffield, England

"I don't mind them being around. Some people think it invades privacy but you will eventually learn which areas are not CCTV watched. It prevents vandalism and even bullying. I have never heard of them being inside classrooms, though; that is a step too far."

Demi, 12, England

"I suppose it is OK to have them in the cloakroom and corridor... but in the TOILET! I'm a bit scared now... I mean what is the point!? They don't have them in the staff room or in the staff toilets, do they?! I think that the teachers should consider our privacy before putting these cameras up. - I HATE IT!!!"

Jeannie, 12, Ipswich, England

"I think it is a good idea. I have them at school, and it is working extremely well!!"

Rayaan, 10, London, England

"I think having CCTV cameras in schools is a bad idea. Pupils will learn to behave when they are being watched, but it doesn't stop them drinking and taking drugs when they aren't. Teachers should teach children how to behave without using cameras, so they will know to do it, no matter whether they are being watched or not."

Yola, 13, Edinburgh, England

"I think in theory it's a good idea because it will stop a lot of bullying, but I don't really want to be watched all the time."

Rachel, 13, Surrey, England

"We have CCTV cameras in our school and we do not mind. We just have fun and play and wave at the office where they watch us, but it does not bug us."

Robert, 9, Manchester, England

"I think cameras aren't a good idea because pupils feel like they are being watched, and I also feel there should not be cameras in the toilets because it doesn't feel right that we should be watched. They should put them out of the toilets so they are facing the door, so they know when people are truanting or not."

Jo, 12, Preston, England

"All of my schools have had CCTV cameras for security, but only on the outside. It is to stop vandalism. I don't notice them because if you aren't doing anything wrong what does it matter?"

Aoife, 13, Northern Ireland

"Some people are saying they shouldn't have them in the toilets. I disagree. On the message boards people were saying that they wouldn't use their school toilets because they were vandalised, dirty, and full of bullies. CCTV in the toilets, although it might seem disgusting, it will keep the toilets clean, safe and bully-free."

Jordan, 12, Newcastle, England

"I think that CCTV cameras are good and bad because they stop vandalism, stealing and bullying, which is a big problem in some schools. On the other hand, it can sometimes be annoying if they're invading your privacy."

Charlie, 9, Southampton, England

"I think it's a good idea, but it's a lot of money and some schools won't be able to pay."

James, 12, England

"NOOO, because we are not in the Big Brother house! We go to school to learn, not to be watched every second."

Jo, 12, Birmingham, England

"I think having CCTV cameras in schools is a pretty good idea because it will catch out any students who are damaging property such as computers in classrooms or display units in corridors and it's a good idea if you're getting bullied, too. I don't have any in my school, but it would be really nice to have them there to protect property and people. I think I should ask my head teacher about having CCTV cameras in our school."

Christine, 14, Lincolnshire, England

"I can accept that they want to keep us safe, but they should tell pupils where they are at the start of the year."

Alex, 11, Durham, England

"I think it's good for our safety, but having it everywhere makes it ridiculous because we won't even get to have a bit of privacy."

Arnal, 11, London, England

"I think it is a good idea because if someone does something wrong and they deny it teachers can always rewind the tape to check if they're telling the truth."

Kate, 10, England

"I think it is an invasion of privacy to put CCTV in the loos. They ought to have a law about where CCTV should be allowed. Other than that I think CCTV is fine but you ought to have permission from parents and pupils before allowing CCTV in a school."

Olivia, 12, Cheltenham, England

"I think CCTV in schools is a fantastic idea because I would feel safer and teachers would be able to see anybody misbehaving while their back is turned as back-up footage."

Matthew, 13, Walsall, England

"I think it's OK, but not in the toilets as some people would feel like their privacy is invaded."

Valerie, 10, London, England

"Yes, it is a good idea because it helps protect people if anything bad happens to them. For example, if something is being stolen there might be CCTV cameras in the changing rooms. It should be soundproof because if someone is telling someone else a secret then it's embarrassing for teachers to know."

Marriam, 13, Leicester, England

"I don't think they are a good idea because people might feel scared by them and not want to go to school."

Sophie, 13, Watford, England

"When I first went to my school I thought that it was a horrible idea to have cameras in the toilets, but I found out it's because people skive off lessons by hiding in there so I think it's a good idea."

Kate, 12, Birmingham, England

"I think that CCTV cameras are very useful, as when someone set the school toilets on fire, the camera which was outside the toilets caught them going in and out, so that they could be identified and punished. If there hadn't been any CCTV there, then the person who did it wouldn't have been caught. I don't agree with them actually in the toilets, but I do agree with them elsewhere."

Chloe, 13, Bristol, England

"I think it's the most ridiculous idea every invented. We came back after summer, and we were told that 50 cameras had been installed. They're EVERYWHERE, even in our toilets. It doesn't give us any privacy, and it makes me less confident knowing that loads of people could be watching me."

Becci, 13, Telford, England

"Yes, I do think it is a good idea because it makes me feel safer around the school!"

Rebecca, 13, London, England

"I think it is a good idea because now the teachers will know what is going in the school and who is stealing property, because in my school somebody's PSP got stolen and was not returned. But putting cameras in the toilets? That is just gross because people who watch the cameras might be able to see into the cubicles."

Penny, 10, Portsmouth, England

"I've just started secondary school and in every corner there is a camera. In a way it feels weird because people can watch your every move. It feels like you're trapped!"

Curtis, 12, Kent, England

"Well, it is and it's not. You can see if there is any bulling going on, that's one good thing. But the bad thing is they can watch you all day. It's like you're being followed."

Amy, 11, Peterborough, England

"My school already has millions of cameras, and has had for some time. I don't mind. I think they are used for pupils to a certain extent, but were put in place more for security - so if anybody breaks into the school to steal equipment they already have them on tape. I always wave at CCTV cameras, so my school probably thinks I'm a bit of a weirdo by now!"

Abz, 12, Derby, England

"I think that it's a good idea. It will help stop bullying and people might behave better."

Jade, 12, Derbyshire, England

"I think it's a great idea because I feel safer at school knowing that if anything bad happens, teachers can know exactly what happened!"

Tom, 11, London, England

"I think they shouldn't have CCTV in school. Say someone was getting bullied and the bully got caught - they might bully their victim more outside of school. Also, I don't think they give you enough choice."

Millie, 11, Somerset, England

"We don't have the cameras in all rooms at school yet, but I don't think it's a good idea because you don't get told where they are and if you don't trust the members of staff who are looking at the CCTV screens then they could use the videos for different things and not what they are meant for. I disagree with them being in the toilets and the changing rooms because they are the only places in the school that you should have privacy."

Lottie, 14, Oxfordshire, England

"There are cameras in my school. I think they are good to stop vandalism and bullying but the toilets are going too far."

Ben, 11, Manchester, England

"I don't think it's a good idea because my friends and I like our privacy!"

Kieran, 14, London, England

"I think it's a ridiculous idea and the government need to keep their noses out and stop shoving cameras everywhere. If the school is that unsafe to need CCTV then surely that is the issue and that is what needs sorting out, not shoving cameras everywhere."

Indy, 12, Stoke, England

"I think that it's a stupid idea because I'd feel like I was being watched everywhere I went and couldn't be myself because you don't know who's watching you!!!"

Polly, 13, Coventry, England

"I don't think that CCTV cameras in school are a good idea because it makes you feel your teachers can't trust you enough to leave you alone in the corridors."

Rosie, 11, Newcastle, England

"We have CCTV cameras in all our classrooms and corridors at school, but it never bothers us."

Danni, 13, Birmingham, England

"Cameras are a waste of money and time. We can't do anything around our school without anyone getting told off."

Iain, 13, Burnley, England

"I think everyone needs their own privacy and not to be spotted doing everything you do."

Alice, 13, Ipswich, England

"We've had CCTV cameras in my school for years. No-one cares about them and it doesn't make people act any differently."

Rebecca, 14, Sheffield, England

"It's a rubbish idea!!! Teachers should be able to trust us!!!"

Alice, 11, England

"We have CCTV in our school and students are still messing around so there's no point."

Becky, 15, Stoke, England

"I object, it's a load of rubbish. It's just like we're being spied on."

Arran, 11, Leeds, England

"CCTV cameras have positive and negative points. They can give pupils a sense of security and act as an extra eye, although for some cameras are offensive and can give you the impression that you are not trusted to act accordingly in the school environment. CCTV cameras are needed more in secondary schools than in primary schools."

Sarah, 14, Northern Ireland

"No, because school wouldn't be fun because you're being watched all the time and can't be yourself."

Drew, 12, Northampton, England

"I would have found CCTV in playgrounds very useful at primary school because I was bullied a lot. Since being at secondary school, I haven't had any problems and I think CCTV should only be used by staff if they are suspicious of any bad behaviour, but not in toilets - what pupils do in the loo is their own business!"

Grace, 15, Birmingham, England

"In my school, we have cameras absolutely everywhere. In the toilets I feel uncomfortable with having them there and I feel it's intruding our privacy. I believe that teachers should trust students."

Isobel, 12, Norwich, England

"I think it's an invasion of privacy. Fair enough, putting them near bike racks... but in the toilets? That's stupid and completely unfair. Sometimes I think if adults try to make us any more safe, they're going to strangle us!"

Laura, 13, Leeds, England

"NO - what's the point? People in the old days didn't have cameras and they caught criminals! It's a waste of money and they stick them in the loo too?!!? No way!"

Billy, 10, Wales

"If you're not doing anything wrong, then you shouldn't be worried about CCTV."

Ellie, 13, Swindon, England

"I think that is bad. People need freedom and their own space!!!"

Georgina, 11, Cornwall, England

"I think it's bad because no-one wants to be themselves and teachers sort of use it as a threat."

Libby, 11, Ireland

"I think it is fine to have cameras in classrooms but in the corridors and even toilets is a bit much!"

Emma, 12, Worcester, England

"They put them in our school toilets!!!!! It's a disgrace; it's like Big Brother is watching our every move!"

Richard, 14, Cardiff, Wales

"There are cameras in my school and they're not a problem. They are just there for our protection and we don't notice them, anyway."

Daniel, 12, Wigan, England

"My school has CCTV cameras, but I don't notice it normally. They are just there to stop fighting and graffiti."

Ben, 12, Leicester, England

"Well, I think it's OK to have CCTV in schools but in the loos is not right and that's disgusting because we are human; we want privacy when we go to the toilet! And I don't like the idea of being watched in classrooms, only at the entrance of the school."

Lucy, 10, London, England

"I think that CCTV is not OK because children need privacy, too."

Lauren, 11, London, England

"I think CCTV cameras are a bad idea. Most children will think they are there to keep an eye on them. Also, people won't change just because there are cameras around. "

Melanie, 11, Kent, England

"We have them already and they are a good idea, but we don't have them in the toilet."

Charlotte, 13, Kent, England

"I think they're good for tracking down bullies and stuff, but I definitely don't think you should have them in the loos."

Alice, 10, Oxford, England

"I hate it. When we came back from the summer holidays we were told that 62 CCTV cameras had been installed! I suppose it will help stop bullying, though."

Joe, 13, Northampton, England

"No, it is not a good idea to have cameras in the toilets! That is disgusting and I don't agree at all. I'm glad my school hasn't got any cameras!"

Kerry, 12, Worcester, England

"We have them all over our school and they are pointless and they make you feel like you are in a prison!"

Lara, 14, London, England

"I think that CCTV cameras are good in schools because they keep children out of trouble, but some people try to put paint or something on them to cover them up."

Finlay, 14, Leicester, England

"I think CCTV cameras are a great idea as they will improve the pupils' behaviour, but the staff and pupils should know where they are placed so that they are aware of what is going on."

Fams, 13, Blackburn, England

"I think that they are a good idea because this will improve behaviour. But having them in the loos is too extreme."

Manjit, 12, London, England

"I think that they are good to stop the bullies and thieves. But they are an invasion of our privacy. Our school should get rid of them."

Alexandra, 13, Melbourne, England

"I think it's a silly idea to have cameras around school. We have them absolutely EVERYWHERE and it feels like we're being watched. We have them in the cafeteria and the lunchtime staff always threaten to look at the cameras about silly things like who flicked a pea at whom. We should get rid of them."

Alex, 12, London, England

"It's not such a good idea because it's being nosey, but on the other hand it's good because kids won't get bullied or kids smoking can get caught!"

Roky, 14, Birmingham, England

"I think that it is a bad idea because if we do have CCTV then where's all the privacy gone?"

Charlee, 13, Essex, England

"I think it's right because if someone says they are being bullied the teachers can just check the CCTV cameras and see what's been happening."

Gemma, 10, Preston, England

"I think it is a good idea. It will make people think twice about bullying someone or breaking the rules. I will feel safer."

Verity, 8, West Sussex, England

"I think it's a great idea for playgrounds and cloakrooms but not in toilets; it should not be allowed."

Katie, 11, Essex, England

"I think CCTV is a great idea. I encourage it and I think they should be in more schools and streets. They act as good deterrents. I think the only people who have problems with CCTV are people who have something to hide and are afraid of getting caught. You only have to look at problems with some schools in America to see how they keep us safe."

Collin, 14, Scotland

"It's a good idea because then you know what the pupils are doing in school or if they're doing anything wrong."

Michelle, 12, Essex, England

"I think using CCTV is not good because CCTV cameras are an invasion of children's privacy. Also, it can make children think adults don't trust them."

Kelly, 11, South Korea

"Yes, because they can keep children safe, but having them in your toilets is an invasion of your privacy."

Gabby, 9, Ipswich, England

"I think it is stupid! I feel like adults don't trust me!"

Caoimhe, 12, Newry, Northern Ireland

"I think there should be cameras in the playground just in case any bullying is going on, and if people are stealing it will keep people safe."

Drewran, 9, Ipswich, England

"They should because if someone's stuff gets stolen the school can find the thief. They shouldn't put them in the toilet because that is an inconvenience to children, but still put them in the schools everywhere else."

Ashley, 12, London, England

"I don't like it when I am being watched. If you're borrowing something from someone out of their bag they will think you are stealing."

Nicole, 9, Ipswich, England

"Our school has got CCTV cameras and I think it's a good idea to have them. It really helps in catching bullies! And many kids are now behaving themselves because of the cameras!"

Saira, 14, Faisalabad, Pakistan

"We have CCTV cameras at George Palmer Primary, and we think that they are a good idea because they keep us safe and they stop bullying and people blaming each other for their own mistakes. It's good because if burglars come in and take things we can see on the CCTV who took it. It also means that kids can't bring in stuff when they're not allowed to."

Years 5 and 6, Reading, England

"I think it's ridiculous because they have them in the toilets as well in our school."

Keshana, 12, Telford, England

"I think it is not a very good idea because that is invading the pupils' privacy."

Lauren, 12, Lanark, Scotland

"No! It's been about a year now since we've moved into the new school and everyone's been complaining about CCTV cameras in our school. We found out that there's CCTV round the whole school - in the corridor, lunch hall, and all of the classrooms! They've even got them in the loos!!"

Bethany, 13, Argyll and Bute, Scotland

"They are good because you can see if people are bullying. I think they should be in every school. They are also good to see if people are doing their work or not."

Matthew, 8, Sydney, Australia

"I can't believe schools have put in CCTV cameras. I would hate it. It's unbelievable; we need our own privacy!!"

Nikole, 11, Glasgow, Scotland

"Most of us feel safer with the CCTV cameras in school and the others do not mind them being there."

Year 3, ages 7-8, Kent, England

"I feel that cameras are a ridiculous idea. They are unecessary. Because of the minority, the majority have to have their personal space invaded."

Candice, 14, Leeds, England

"I think having CCTV cameras is a bad idea because people are just watching you. They should have teachers outside instead of recording you on a camera."

Megan, 13, Leeds, England

"I like the idea of CCTV networks in schools because it stops bullying and it records everything from day to night!"

Casey, 9, London, England

"I don't like CCTV cameras in loos and stuff but it's OK for them on the playground but that's it!!!"

Amz, 11, London, England

"I think it is a very good idea. It would definitely make me feel safer and I bet it would for other pupils, too. There aren't any at my school but I think it's still a good idea."

Georgia, 11, Cambridge, England

"Yes and no: yes because it will make kids feel safer but no because kids will feel that it is an invasion of their privacy."

Catherine, 15, Crawley, England

"I think CCTV inside schools is bad because it's a waste of money that could go towards charity or new sports equipment!"

Megan, 10, London, England

"I think CCTV cameras in schools are a BAD idea. I'm against all forms of CCTV that are put there to survey us."

John, 13, Southampton, England

"I think that the teachers should consider our privacy before putting these cameras up."

Lana, 12, Leicester, England

"We have had CCTV cameras in our school for nearly a year now and have been a great use. My friend had been beaten up and because of the cameras they knew we had done it."

Eden, 14, Aylesbury, England

"I think it's ridiculous! Because we can't have any privacy in the streets, and now we can't have any privacy in school!"

Holly, 13, England