For a long time the students at Lynnwood High School have been hearing that LHS would be having outdoor security cameras. Now this rumor has become fact.
Over the last few months, the cameras have been adjusted to give a full 360-degree view around the school. This view includes all around the greenhouses, fields (all of them), the buses and parking lots. The cameras can also pick up images at night.
Dean of Students Steve Miranda said the cameras have been extremely helpful in keeping the school an optimum learning environment.
“A couple weeks ago we had somebody up on the roof,” Miranda said about a weekend incident. “The police had to be called in and we had the pictures from the cameras to prove he’d been up there.”
Not only are the cameras catching trespassers but they are also catching several other issues.
“A lot of kids keep parking in staff areas and they’re getting $30 tickets,” Miranda said. “We’ve been getting tagged too. We haven’t seen when they’ve done it, but we’ll catch them.” The possibility is high considering 10 days of camera footage can be reviewed.
In addition, the cameras might help in police investigations. If a suspicious behavior is noted in the area, Lynnwood High School’s cameras may be able to help get footage of individuals or even capture a crime in progress, such as a burglary or vehicular crimes.
Senior Dominique Housley is glad to have the cameras at school. “I feel safer,” said Housley. “Say someone’s attacking the school, then we see them.”
Miranda said the district has been considering security for a long time. “They’re going to be doing it in all the schools because it’s worked out so well,” said Miranda. “We’re the pioneers.”
School administration said mostly what the cameras have caught are students skipping class. “We catch people that are walking off and skipping class and things like that,” said Miranda.
“I hope that because people know it’s there they won’t do things they know they shouldn’t. It’s a preventative tool. It’s our tool to keep our campus closed and safe and we can see intruders coming if we need to. It’s for school safety.”
Some students wonder if having cameras are a violation of privacy. “I feel like it’s overboard,” said senior Brooklynn Bartlett. “it’s a high school, not jail.”
Miranda said that it is not illegal for schools to utilize cameras. “The day that they were put in we told everyone they were there and there are signs that say ‘you are being monitored,’” said Miranda. “This is private property and it’s a school’s absolute right to protect itself. It’s held up in court.”
But will a few outside security cameras lead to security cameras in the hallways at LHS? Miranda said there would only be outside cameras. “There are no cameras inside,” said Miranda, “and there never will be.”
Chelsea Zirbes is a student at Lynnwood High School.