Mount Vernon High School Seeks Input on Surveillance Cameras
Administration is considering installing interior cameras.
Mount Vernon High School administrators are considering installing interior surveillance cameras and are seeking input from students, faculty, and community members over the next few weeks.
“To be honest, my biggest reason to have cameras is to have an extra measure of safety and security in the building,” explained MVHS Principal Nardos King.
The Fairfax County School Board approved a video surveillance policy in December 2011. According to Fairfax County Public Schools' policy, each individual school can decide whether should be installed. Cameras are allowed only in “hot spots” such as cafeterias and lobbies.
King stresses that “very minor issues” have taken place inside the school, but they have had issues. Cameras would be installed in high-traffic areas within the school. King also added that students who participate in extracurricular activities are often waiting for rides after school when limited staff is available.
“[Cameras] would add another level of security,” King stressed.
King added that Mount Vernon High School had a problem with vandalism on the building's exterior.
"After we installed the exterior cameras, it all but went away," King explained. "Every once in a while we have some vandalism, but the cameras help deter that kind of behavior.”
The total cost of the installation is estimated to cost $39,049, which will include $8,000 for the camera installation in the cafeteria, which FCPS would pay. The remaining amount, $31,049, will be paid for with accumulated community use credits, not appropriated funds.
Early Input Shows Strong Support
King says all of the staff members she has spoken to have voiced their support of the cameras. She has received 30 emails from community members, 28 of which are in support of the cameras.
“I don’t expect to get 100 percent support from students,” King said. “But I think students will listen to my reasoning and understand where I’m coming from on this issue.”
On June 1, King will take a look at the input gathered over the past month. If there is sufficient support, she will request permission from the Superintendent to proceed with the installation.
“If I don’t have support, I’m not going to move forward," King said.
Mount Vernon High School will host a meeting on May 14 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the interior surveillance cameras. For more information or to submit input, please email Nardos.King@fcps.edu.