First police, now teachers are wearing body cameras

One school district in Iowa is implementing body cameras in the classroom

(WWLP) – Iowa’s Burlington school district now has 15 body cameras they will be using starting in the fall. This comes after accusations were made of an administrator kicking a student.

Burlington School District Superintendent Patrick Coen said body cameras in his district would improve behavior and maintain accountability from both students and teachers.

22News asked teachers from western Massachusetts, how body cameras in classes here would change the dynamic of the classroom.

Elonia Lamontagne of Chicopee High School said, “If they’re going to spend the money on something, it should be on resources that the students can use directly. Not something that’s just going to make them feel a little bit awkward.”

“I can’t imagine being a teacher filming students and expecting them to be honest with me and forming an educational relationship where we’ll learn together,” said Jason Surprise of Chicopee High School.

Burlington’s body cameras cost about $85 each. They are small, and can clip onto shirts, ties, or pockets. The district is still trying to figure out the procedure for wearing the cameras and reviewing footage.

John Polito, a parent, said, “If things are taken out of context, I can see that become an issue. But as long as it’s used properly, you know, I don’t see it being an issue.”

Chicopee High School teachers told 22News their biggest concern is establishing trust while students are on camera. Burlington police officers said these body cameras have been useful in their investigations.

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