Every breath you take, every move you make

One of the arguments about changing the high school zoning for Knoxville students has been the loss of potential money to schools’ “foundations“. Foundations are created by parents to provide “programs, acquisitions, and scholarships beyond those afforded by the general school budget.” This year’s foundation letter stated that the foundation at Tommy’s (and next year, Sarah’s) school would like this year’s gift to the school to be 96 new security cameras and 3 servers to maintain the cameras. After talking to other parents, I find myself all alone in thinking this is a backwards way to deal with vandalism and theft at the high school. Why not improve the 40-year-old school buildings and grounds so that the students are proud of them? Why not add classes, programs and activities (other than band) that give more of the students something to care about at school? Why not offer more scholarships and internships that reach the students who are falling between the cracks? How about helping the students who show up at school in the same clothes every day? How about programs that give the uninvolved parents a positive reason to be at the school? Why not create a Full Service school? No, apparently everyone else thinks it is a good idea to add more cameras and focus on harsher punishments for those bad kids that they don’t want there anyway. Aren’t there any Idealists left?

6 thoughts on “Every breath you take, every move you make

  1. Not the same thing, but a couple years ago our PTA spent a large amount of money building a fence alongside the playground.

    To “protect” the kids from cars driving by.

    The school has been there 40 years, and as near as I can tell, nobody has ever been hurt by running from the playground into traffic. But they needed protecting.

    No, this just makes the people who bought the fence feel better, thinking now they have done something “to help.”

  2. I have to throw the “Naive” card here. As a kid, I will f-it up for the fun of it, not because I’m not proud of it. Cameras will just make sure the right parents pay for the repairs.

  3. No. A nanny state will not make things better. The kids who vandalize and steal have parents who are equally disenfranchised and will neither pay nor admit responsibility for their child’s actions. If those parents and students had a reason to care about the school, that would make a difference. More kids vested in the school would also create more peer accountability.

    For Matt – http://b3ta.com/challenge/nanny_state

  4. Cameras, like locks, only keep honest people honest.

    Put up cameras, particularly in this number, is treating the symptom and not the problem. The cost cannot be weighted in just the acquisition of the equipment, but must take into consideration the maintenance of the equipment, the staffing requirements for those to monitor the equipment and field requests for tape reviews, and for the lost time/salary/producitivity in the bureaucracy created in filing/archiving videos and making this tax payer supported video available (or not available-egad someone scream “privacy!”) to the appropriate people.

    Additionally there is the cost of how the students feel about their school and about their society as they become desensitized to the concept of constantly being under surveilance. These students will become the legislatures who have no problem creating Big Brother laws in our retired future since they grew up being watched, a non-surveiled life will be a foreign concept.

    Put up the cameras! Take down America.

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