Surveillance cameras approved in Fairfax Co. schools

Ari Ashe, wtop.com

WASHINGTON — The Fairfax County School Board voted late Thursday evening to approve surveillance cameras inside schools.

The controversial vote came after several hours of debate between those who wanted to make sure schools were safe and those who were concerned about student privacy.

Earlier this year, two high-profile food fights in school cafeterias in Fairfax County Schools raised the profile of the issue.

On May 12, a massive food fight at Westfield Springfield High School turned violent when someone pulled the fire alarm.

Just days later, four students at Centreville High School were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and assault following another food fight.

The Fairfax County Board’s vote does not mean schools will automatically get the cameras.

Instead, each school will hold a community engagement meeting with parents and school staff to debate the issue. If there is a consensus to install a camera, the school would be allowed to do so. If the decision is not to install a camera, the Fairfax County School Board says it’ll support that too.

The final vote was 8-4.

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