The school department in Springfield, Massachusetts, is entering into an agreement that gives police access to surveillance camera footage recorded inside and outside of public school buildings.
One of the goals is to help police see, in real time, what’s occurring during an emergency, such as a school shooting. But giving police access to the cameras has led to a debate on what makes schools safe, especially for students of color.
Under the agreement, crime analysts, police officers and their supervisors can view live or stored recordings during an emergency — or a non-emergency investigation if the police get prior written approval. The cameras could also be accessed during police trainings, also with approval.
When the policy was approved in a 4-3 vote at an April school committee meeting, those voting against it were all women of color, including Barbara Gresham.
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