School surveillance: how big brother spies on pupils

Jun 10th, 2011 | Category: Latest News | 95 comments

Schools are places to learn to read, write, count and…live under a police state. Here’s an article from the Guardian describing the metamorphosis of the public schools system into a big brother system.

School surveillance: how big brother spies on pupils

Cameras in the toilets; CCTV in the classroom; pupils’ fingerprints kept in a database . . . Can’t happen here? Think again, because the surveillance state is quietly invading our schools

Pupils are increasingly under the camera's eye at school

‘Every day in communities across the United States, children and adolescents spend the majority of their waking hours in schools that increasingly have come to resemble places of detention more than places of learning. From metal detectors to drug tests, from increased policing to all-seeing electronic surveillance, the schools of the 21st century reflect a society that has become fixated on crime, security and violence.”

So reads a passage from the opening pages of Lockdown High, a new book by the San Francisco-based journalist Annette Fuentes. Subtitled “When the schoolhouse becomes the jailhouse”, it tells a story that decisively began with the Columbine shootings of 1999, and from across the US, the text cites cases that are mind-boggling: a high-flying student from Arizona strip-searched because ibuprofen was not allowed under her school rules; the school in Texas where teachers can carry concealed handguns; and, most amazingly of all, the Philadelphia school that gave its pupils laptops equipped with a secret feature allowing them to be spied on outside classroom hours.

Just about all the schools Fuentes writes about are united by a belief in that most pernicious of principles, “zero tolerance”. Their scanners, cameras and computer applications are supplied by a US security industry that seems to grow bigger and more insatiable every year. And as she sees it, their neurotic emphasis on security has plenty of negative results: it renders the atmosphere in schools tense and fragile, and in coming down hard on young people for the smallest of transgressions, threatens to define their life chances at an early age – because, as she puts it, “suspensions and academic failure are strong predictors of entry into the criminal justice system”. There is also, of course, the small matter of personal privacy.

It would be comforting to think of all this as a peculiarly American phenomenon. But in the UK, we seem almost as keen on turning schools into authoritarian fortresses. Scores of schools have on-site “campus police officers.” One in seven schools has insisted on students being fingerprinted so they can use biometric systems for the delivery of lunches and in school libraries. Security systems based on face recognition have already been piloted in 10 schools, and on-site police officers are now a common feature of the education system. Most ubiquitous of all are CCTV cameras: in keeping with our national love affair with video surveillance, 85% of secondary schools are reckoned to use it, even in changing rooms and toilets.

Just as the US is home to such school-security firms as ScholarChip and Raptor Technologies, so we have an array of companies who can equip schools with a truly Orwellian array of kit. BioStore offers fingerprint-based ID systems to schools and assures any potential takers that children’s dabs are encrypted into “a string of numbers”, that “cannot be used to recreate a fingerprint image” nor “used in a forensic investigation”. CCTVanywhere’s website features a hooded youth with a spraycan straight out of central casting and a claim that its cameras can help with help with everything from bullying to settling legal claims against staff. There is also Classwatch, a CCTV firm which claims it can “produce dramatic improvements in behaviour”. Until recently, its chairman was a Tory MP called Tim Loughton. As if to signal the links that run between such firms and our policymakers, he is now under-secretary of state for children.

Now, as the surveillance state embeds itself in the lives of millions of children, the education bill currently making its way through parliament promises to extend teachers’ powers to search pupils to the point that, as the pressure group Liberty puts it, they will be “proportionate to terrorism investigations”. Teachers will be able not just to seize phones and computers, but wipe them of any data if they think there “is a good reason to do so” – a move of a piece with new powers to restrain pupils and issue summary expulsions.

Not entirely surprisingly, education secretary Michael Gove casts all this as a matter of copper-bottomed common sense. “Our bill will put heads and teachers back in control, giving them a range of tough new powers to deal with bullies and the most disruptive pupils,” he said last year, before he used a very telling phrase: “Heads will be able to take a zero-tolerance approach.”

For many people, the idea of school discipline will still be synonymous with Victorian images of cane-wielding teachers, but we now seem to be headed for something much more insidious: authoritarianism for children, sold to students and staff using the dazzle of technology, and the modern vocabulary of the security crackdown.

And all this, you may remember, from a government whose coalition agreement promises “a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour government and roll back state intrusion”.

Only for grownups, perhaps.

In March 2009, Sam Goodman and Leia Clancy were sixth-formers at Davenant Foundation school in Loughton, Essex – as they both tell me, a safe and largely trouble-free place. One Monday morning, they turned up for an A-level politics lesson and found that the room they were using had been newly equipped with CCTV cameras, mounted to a silver dome attached to the ceiling. Horrified, they led a spontaneous walk-out, involving all the members of their class bar one.

“If the school had warned us, maybe we’d have been more willing to the idea of them being there,” says Clancy, now an anthropology undergraduate at the LSE. “But if you come back from the weekend, and there are cameras in the classroom . . . well, that changes everything.”

Goodman, then 18, was never likely to accept the cameras’ presence: a staunch civil libertarian and son of a barrister, he had already refused to use his school’s new fingerprint-scan system for serving lunch. He is now a politics student at Leeds University. “I just thought enough was enough, really,” he says. “We got a petition together and I spoke to the headmaster about it. But we hit a dead-end. His excuse was teacher-training: that they wanted to record lessons and watch them back.”

Soon enough, the class was told that lessons would resume in the room in question, but that the cameras would be turned off. “People were very, very wary,” says Clancy. “And the atmosphere was completely different. Having a massive camera over your head is incredibly distracting, so no one was very comfortable with their learning environment. It really had an impact on how we participated.” Worse was to come: having gone back into the classroom, Clancy and Goodman claim they then discovered an audio recording system, hidden in a cupboard. “We worked out that that was on the whole time, even if the cameras were switched off, which made us even more angry,” says Clancy. “It seemed suspiciously covert, and they never really answered our questions about that. But we switched it off.”

Having amassed dozens of signatures on a petition, with advice from Goodman’s father, they then made an official complaint to the Information Commissioner.

Two years on, they have heard nothing back.

Jason West is a 38-year-old father of three from Ash, near Aldershot. All his children are students at Ash Manor school, a specialist technology college. On 28 April this year, his youngest son came home from school, and told him about a CCTV camera installed above urinals in one of the school’s toilets. “When he told me, I couldn’t believe it,” he says. It turned out there were cameras in both boys’ and girls’ toilets: Ash Manor’s head, West says, explained that they had been put there as part of a drive against bullying, smoking and graffiti, and assured him that they were only focused on nearby washbasins.

West told him he was shocked about the absence of any warning about the cameras’ installation and would be withdrawing his children from the school unless he was allowed to come and see them for himself. Under the Data Protection Act, it should be noted, schools must tell pupils where cameras are and the purpose they serve – though as one teachers’ union officer told me: “There are lots of schools that install CCTV and don’t know the rules – and the companies who supply it don’t feel the need to tell them. “When West visited the school the following week, he says that he saw exactly what his son had told him about, and was enraged. “I thought to myself: when my kids went to that school, I signed a document saying that no images or video footage would be taken of them,” he says. “I think it’s sick to put something like that in there; it’s intrusive and I don’t agree with it.” He says he was given a guarantee that his children could use a toilet with no CCTV, though he contacted the local newspaper and the county’s police – who, he claims, insisted the cameras were removed.

The police will say only that they received “a number of calls from concerned parents”, that the school had not committed any offence, and that “advice” was given to the head. When I contact the school, I get an email explaining that the cameras were “temporary”, put up “as part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring safeguarding” and there to “take a still image of what would be shown if we were to install CCTV, in order to allow parents to be fully confident that they were totally decent and appropriate”.

No final decision, they assure me, has been made to put cameras in the toilets, and a consultation with parents is under way (though their text contains one possibly telling caveat: “other local schools already have this in place”). West is adamant that if the cameras return, “I’ll take my kids out of school again and start a petition.” In other respects, Ash Manor is fully on board with where schools seem to be headed: they are, for example, about to introduce a fingerprint system for the delivery of school meals.

Which brings us to one part of the story in which Britain is actually ahead of the US: the use of biometrics in schools, which has been snowballing for the past five years. It is explained to me by 42-year-old Pippa King, a mother of two from Hull and a staunch children’s rights advocate, whose campaigning dates back to a morning in 2006 when she glimpsed a new fingerprint scanner in a primary school library, supplied by a company called Micro Librarian Systems.

Her children were then seven, and six. “I asked the headteacher when she was going to ask for our permission to fingerprint the kids, and she told me point blank she didn’t need permission,” she recalls. “I was flabbergasted. I thought, there’s only 160 kids in this school – can book-crime be that bad that you need to biometrically scan primary-school children?” She quickly began blogging about the tangle of issues with which she had suddenly been confronted (her fascinating output is at pippaking.blogspot.com).

In her case, the school eventually sought parents’ consent, and 20% refused permission, so the system could not be used. But in the meantime, King and the equally worried parents with whom she made contact had started to get a sense of how widely fingerprinting was being rolled out. “We heard from people all over the country,” she says. “But it’s a difficult thing, being a parent who objects to what a school is doing. We spoke to people who’d been told: ‘If you don’t like it, take your child somewhere else.’ And don’t forget: confronted by the biometrics industry, anyone who doesn’t like what’s happening is going to be at one end of a very imbalanced argument.”

From time to time, there have been other stories of low-level resistance: the kid from the Wirral given a detention – for “defacing school property” – after he stuck Blu-Tack on the lens of a camera in the school toilets; the parents who protested outside Charlestown primary school in Salford after their children had been filmed by CCTV, changing their clothes for PE lessons; the father from High Wycombe who formed a pressure group after his six-year-old son was fingerprinted at his primary school. Meanwhile, research proves that no matter what happens, a seemingly oppressive level of in-school surveillance is increasingly becoming the norm.

Emmeline Taylor is a Mancunian academic who has been following the onward march of school security for the past five years. When I speak to her, she talks me through the British side of the story, which takes in rampant fear about knife-crime, the fall-out from the Dunblane massacre of 1995, and a very British tendency to concentrate on the most innocuous aspects of technology, while blithely ignoring its more sinister side.

In-school surveillance, she says, is sold to parents and pupils as a panacea for bullying, vandalism, truancy and more, but its implications for privacy are too often ignored. Similarly, though schools fingerprint their pupils so they can borrow library books and get their lunch without recourse to anything made of paper and issue no end of assurances about what can and can’t be done with biometrics, Taylor thinks the practice creates the possibility of “a database by the back door”.

For the most part, she acknowledges, all this is waved through without much thought, let alone any protest. “The schools love it, because it supposedly avoids truancy and saves teachers’ time,” she says. “And the pupils tend to love it, because it seems to be all about being futuristic and exciting.”

At the pressure group Liberty, they are starting to try to realign public understanding of all this, away from efficiency and technology, towards much more fundamental stuff. “There’s a very important point of principle to be made,” says Isabella Sankey, Liberty’s policy director. “What kind of message are you sending kids about the value of their privacy and dignity if you start putting CCTV up in schools? Our preference would be for schools not to use it. We certainly need much better safeguards and criteria relating to where it’s appropriate. For example, putting it in the classroom is particularly offensive. It has very clear implications for teaching and free expression.”

We also talk about the current education bill and its draconian plans for teachers’ search powers. “The last government brought in powers to allow teachers to search kids for illegal substances, knives and sharp implements,” she says. “That was actually pretty controversial, given that they’re powers usually reserved for police officers, for very good reason – because they’ve got training and all the rest of it. But this goes a lot further. Teachers will have the power to look for anything prohibited in the school rules, which gives complete discretion to schools to dream up their own list.

“It’s important to get one thing across,” she says. “This isn’t about a teacher being able to confiscate something – something that’s always been there. This is much more invasive: it allows for a search of a pupil’s person, with all the implications that has. And it includes the under-10s. So you’re talking about people who can’t legally commit a criminal offence, but can still be searched. That goes to the heart of it.

“It also contains this other power, which relates specifically to electronic devices: the power not just to go through them, but to delete material.” This, she tells me, exceeds any power currently granted to the police.

Having had my nerves comprehensively jangled, I approach the Department of Education. It is perhaps some token of their jitteriness about school surveillance that no minister will talk to me, but I am invited to send in a list of questions, which brings forth a pretty miserable response, indicative of that ingrained tendency of people in power to respond to stuff based on matters of principle with deadening officialspeak.

The answers I get back are credited to Nick Gibb, the Tory schools minister, an old-school disciplinarian described last year by the Guardian as “an enthusiastic proponent of a crackdown on behaviour”.

My first questions run thus: Does the department have a policy on CCTV in schools – and more specifically, its limits? What about CCTV in classrooms, as against corridors and playgrounds? I also mention the controversy about cameras in toilets.

“Heads know their schools better than ministers, so it’s rightly down to them whether or not they choose to use CCTV, although great care needs to be taken to protect the privacy of pupils,” says the minister. “Clearly, pupil welfare is paramount and heads will consider local circumstances, and may wish to speak with parents and pupils first before installing such a system. All schools must comply with data-protection laws when using CCTV.”

The second bunch of inquiries relates to biometrics. What, I wonder, is his view of the use of fingerprints in schools? Are some parents right to feel that their use in, say, libraries and school catering arrangements is just not appropriate? Here, the answer has a bit more clout. “We are toughening up existing guidance on biometrics by legislating to outlaw its use in schools without parental permission – it is only right that heads consult parents before using such sensitive technology,” he replies. This is true: in the wake of warnings from the European Commission about fingerprinting in schools without parental consent, the new protection of freedoms bill insists on it for all children under 18.

But if one governmental hand is pushing things in one direction, the other is brazenly going the opposite way, as proved by the current education bill. Among other things, the text I send to send to the Department of Education highlights those new powers to delete data from electronic devices and to allow teachers to search students of the opposite sex without another member of staff present, “if they believe the student could cause serious harm”. I also cite a recent quote from Chris Keates, the general secretary of the teachers’ union NASUWT: “The extra powers in the bill to search and confiscate and dispose of electronic equipment and data are disproportionate powers that teachers don’t really want, and actually could cause more conflict and more problems for schools, rather than actually tackling discipline.”

“Improving discipline is an important priority for the government,” says Gibb’s reply. “That’s why we are giving heads and teachers the clear powers they have requested to tackle poor behaviour, so they have the confidence to remove disruptive pupils when necessary.” He goes on: “We trust teachers, as professionals, to use these new powers in an appropriate and proportionate way.”

So there you go. “Appropriate and proportionate”, as is the British way. Really, what’s anyone worried about?




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COMMENTS

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95 Comments to “School surveillance: how big brother spies on pupils”

  1. Lars says:

    Well, what to say? Modern western education in action..

    This big brother crap is getting way out of hand. One would think that the average Joe on the street should start to protest but we seem to wait in vain. Oposing this madness is still labeled 'conspiracy nuttery' by most.

    • Truth says:

      Many of us have already been de-sensitized to these agendas. This means that they will most likely be accepted as normal and, as you said, whoever opposes them is a "conspiracy theorist" or a bit crazy.

    • Luke says:

      Anyone have trouble viewing the boards, i cant access them at all.

    • desrt100 says:

      not to be rude but come on who didn't know about this. I find this article to be less entertain and informative that's why "they" always say big brother will always be watching

  2. camille says:

    i just want to learn…

    • Alex says:

      School isn't the only place to learn. Infact it can be the last place to learn.

      Alot of education can come from books (such as fictional stories or nonfiction stories with deeper meaning.) This may sound a bit silly but I learned alot of wisdom from stories such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. When the authors made those books, it wasn't for entertainment. They concealed alot of amazing life lessons and wisdom in them that can be found in the real world.

      Also traveling always broadens the mind. Not everyone has the pocket to travel though. But if you get the chance, leaving your society to discover another is always eye-opening! (Though the world government is trying very hard at the moment to globalize everything.)

      Also your parents, your elders and the communities elders always have wisdom to share too. School is only good to learn how to deal with people in society, how to read, write and do basic math. After you're done learning basic math, writing and reading, you don't need school.

      • camille says:

        right you are.

      • Trevor Barr says:

        As my father always said: Education isn't about learning WHAT to think, it is about learning HOW to think. One doesn't need a school to learn HOW to think, one needs a teacher. I would say we haven't had teachers in our schools for some time.

        Public schools have been indoctrination centers for a very long time.

        They have become more about accepting dogma and indoctrination, then about questioning dogma and indoctrination.

      • curious citizen says:

        harry potter is about witch craft! the whole point of this site is to expose the satanic world and you're saying they are giving you wisdom? i agree with the travelling part, but becareful with what you believe

      • Integrity says:

        Yes, on the surface it does seem as if Harry Potter is concerned with witchcraft. But hilariously…

        Harry Potter uses witchcraft more as a means of appliance rather than an ominous end all. Compare the Harry Potter movies to Disney's The Sorceror's Apprentice. In the latter movie, they go over nearly all the details magic incorporates, whereas in the HP series they only breifly give a synopsis of magic and don't strain to explain symbols and runes.

        Harry Potter also displays an overtly Christian message near the end of the series, if you're concerned about what religious context the book may or may not enter.

  3. FormerGlobalist says:

    How disgusting!

    They are teaching our kids to love big brother!

  4. nessi says:

    Yaaaayyyy! Now pedophiles can keep an eye on our children even better!

    How exciting to know that the school principle or the math teacher can masturbate to my little girl (or boy) while she's changing clothes in the locker room! Just perfect!

  5. joanna says:

    My son school Hampshire UK has 28 camera's for 250 children. We live in a very rural location – small level crime, so why?

    And who is watching them? Who stores the tapes? Or are they live streaming cctv which is being watched outside of the school?

    In the UK on average a person is snapped over 300 times a day by CCTV. We live in one big prison in the West.

  6. Beberodri says:

    Haha, "scholarchip"

    • VC advocate says:

      Not to mention, "micro librarian systems". It has now come to our attention that these kids are being labled terrorists, its whats they say, fighting terrorists on the home front. Hmmm wheres that shill?

  7. Voice of Reason says:

    “What kind of message are you sending kids about the value of their privacy and dignity if you start putting CCTV up in schools?"

    More Importantly:

    What kind of message are you sending PEDOPHILES about the value of children's privacy and dignity (and safety) if you start putting CCTV up in schools?!?

    • Voice of Reason says:

      To any and students who are living under this tyranny,

      Here's a handy tip: Take a full-size umbrella into the bathroom with you, and hold it (opened) between you and the camera while you "take care of business".

  8. Brandon says:

    Now I have a better reason to hate school…

    Glad it's summer now.

  9. SMD says:

    This is why I'll be homeschooling my future children.

  10. miss B says:

    I think its very clever of the government to be using CCTV in conjunction with biometrics. All children have to go to school, which means that within a few years, everyone will have been fingerprinted and identified within a network of information for the police state to use.

    As a teacher, I can understand why people would want CCTV cameras in schools for the protection of people and their overall safety. But the key issue is not being addressed when it comes to the children of today. Children's behaviour issues will not be improved by authoritarian means…we needs to tackled the core problem…which is that the majority if children are being raised in single parent homes without poroper morals and values on which to model their own behaviour. If we can teach children how to be kind and love from a possition of sincerity for their well-being I believe we will see society transform. How can we expect children to change their behaviour when the same agressive attitude is being used on children to force them to change. Even the nicest child would eventually get fed up and rebell. Its asking for trouble and the results will not be the ones that they are trying to sell to the masses. #just saying

    • Mimi says:

      You said, "All children have to go to school, which means that within a few years, everyone will have been fingerprinted and identified within a network of information for the police state to use."

      But what about homeschooled kids?

      But then again, maybe in a few years homeschooling will be banned so that "they can make sure kids are educated 'proper' way."

    • curious citizen says:

      well said miss B

  11. miss B says:

    Whoops… I correct myself in saying… "We need to tackle"…not what I typed above lol.

    Fighting agression with agressive behaviour is not the answer.

  12. j says:

    I am so glad to be able to homeschool/unschool my children. No cameras, no biometrics, no vaccinations, no awful government food, no corporate sponsorship, no rewritten histories. I wish everyone had the choice and opportunity to do this.

  13. -F says:

    Wow! We're all screwed most children go to school and a small percentage are home schooled so most people will be on this database. My school is getting the biometric system, soon, at least the school are asking for permission first if we want to use it but obviously I will refuse. I have no idea how this is all being funded (probably the government), why not spend the money on books or something more educational that will actually improve the grades in schools. It's completely pointless.

    • joanna says:

      Please may i ask – how old your child is? as from my research on the internet it seems at secondary school NO permission is required my son is 14

      • -F says:

        Lol, maybe I didn't phrase what I said well enough but I'm 15 :) Yep I'm younger than most of you on this site :D I live in London and my school has sent letters to our homes asking for permission and there's a box you can tick to not have your fingerprints taken.

  14. Dre says:

    Wow so true schools are not even worried about what the kids are there for -education- they're more worried about discipline than anything else. I know bcuz I jus got out of hs & all they did was worry about Id badges while our test scores we're low..starts to make sense now that I found this site smh

    • LVB says:

      This is a terrible thing that only a lot of really pissed off parents can change, and I wonder if enough still care enough to resist it and force their will on these govt criminals and their "systems"?

      But cameras or not, the public elementary, high school and university systems in the past 30 years have not been used much more for indoctrination and conditioning to certain ideas (socialism, radical environmentalism, etc.) than for true education.

      Their extreme bias in how they present any form of history education alone should tell us all what time it is.

      If I were a parent I have to believe I'd be raising as much hell as absolutely possible and encouraging others to do the same, whether that means lawsuits or whatever it takes.

      Which brings up an interesting point…where are those "brave defenders of liberty" the radical socialist ACLU on all this, and why are they not suing all these schools for violating civil rights?

      Hmmm…I think I already know the answer to that one, but I'm open to suggestions. :)

    • lexi says:

      My school in Maryland threatened to taser students if they get into any altercation. Everyone laughed but the officer wasn't joking. I'm in 10th grade.

  15. Celeste says:

    True dat.

  16. Gary Dirtwise says:

    “Our bill will put heads and teachers back in control, giving them a range of tough new powers to deal with bullies and the most disruptive pupils,”

    kinda ironic since isn't bullying about control? what kind of example is that to discourage, more like encourage that kind of behavior.

    did good in school but i still didn't trust teachers, so why should we now?

  17. Samantha says:

    Wow, this is so sickening. But the internet controls us aswell, we are watched almost everywhere we are/ go in our daily life: supermarket, classrooms, train stations, shopping malls, telephone,maybe television, too. If this continues, we won´t even be alone in our own four walls. Thank god I don´t live in the US. When I am 18years old, I´ll live on a quiet island shut down from so-called `normal`, corrupted and controlled life. Maybe I´ll take a radio with me or Internet so that I can still read VC…

  18. JB says:

    I really don't think it's a big deal. I'm sure that it's more to provide security than it is to spy on the kids in school.

    • Alex says:

      Its a big deal when you are treated like a criminal everyday by your professors and school administrators.

      Go through the public education system now and get treated like shit everyday behind closed doors and when your parents arent around and you will see.

      I can understand this article fully cause my middleschool was a living hell.. so much supervision and condescending teachers. Highschool was more relaxed, but there were cameras everywhere. but the on campus police were very nice and were apart of the community so they werent threatening or intimidating.

    • Fleurdamour says:

      I think it's 'ostensibly' to protect the kids, but humans being what they are, I am sure it's abused from the minute the equipment is installed. I was a creative kid who went to a small rural high school and who expressed herself with individual style and music. I found out sophomore year from another kid that my name was on a list in the principal's office of students suspected of being on drugs (he had seen it lying to the principal's desk when he was sent in there for disciplinary reasons). I was a straight-arrow fifteen year old kid who had never even had a drink of liquor, but to their limited minds, because I had funny hair I must be on hard drugs and apparently they were watching me. They also carelessly left an incriminating list based on conjecture alone lying around where other kids could see it and I only found out about it because someone I knew had the decency to tell me. This is why schools can't be trusted with an unlimited level of intrusion, control and monitoring.

  19. Fleurdamour says:

    What's anyone worried about? George Orwell was British. And so was Aldous Huxley. And so was The Prisoner, for that matter.

    • sirrah says:

      'All roads lead first to England ….and then to Rome.'

      • Fleurdamour says:

        Well said. Every tribe in Europe longed to be imperialists after they felt the yoke of Rome. They still haven't completely gotten that out of their system, the cultural imprint was so strong. Even when we've seen time and time again that no empire lasts, people keep trying to make them, even if it's only a petty one lording it over some little kids in a public school.

      • tv says:

        @sirrah…I appreciate your postings and they have made me think that we are truly down the rabbit hole in this world and that we Christians have to stay strong and united…

        …admittedly, some of your posting are hard to swallow – and that doesn't mean that I don't believe them – but I prayerfully considered them and I will pray for your protection.

        I have a question, sirrah: why the Illuminati symbolism in videos and films? Why go to all that trouble?

  20. NilTox says:

    The Creative and Curious are Criminalised

    The Gullible are Educated.

    Eric Azulty, 2011

  21. Lim Lynn says:

    Glad I finished graduated high school earlier but seems it's terrible with discipline can't disagree with the article.

  22. Rex says:

    Just another reason I won't send my kids to Public Schools (I prefer to call them indoctrination stations)

  23. Hollaina says:

    I know of problematic schools having certain security systems in place, but man, cameras in the bathroom able to watch you as you relieve yourself?!?!? That is most definitely crossing the line in my eyes.

    I plan on homeschooling my children regardless of these facts though. With all the budget cuts (amazing how classes and education get caught, yet the funding for this expensive technology is still in the budget) I still want my child to receive the best, most well-rounded education possible.

  24. Godozo says:

    All that money going to surveillance…no wonder Johnny can't read – even if they wanted him to, they're kept from putting their money towards that.

  25. Godozo says:

    I remember in Third Grade they had a trip to the Police Station, complete with a fingerprinting for the kids. It was a field trip, so the kids looked forward to it.

    All of them, except me.

    I hid the permission forms, and spent the day of the field trip in my Second Grade teacher's class. Self-directed learning, and no cops getting my fingerprints!

  26. Student says:

    I just finished middle school this year, cameras throughout the school have become accepted with the students, we all know they're there but we're so used to them that we don't really give it a second thought. After reading this article I'm deeply disturbed. There is no way in hell I'm letting myself get put into any biometrics system.

    If teaches cares half as much about our education as discipline we'd all be straight A students.

  27. Sovay says:

    Yeah. That's why I've been homeschooled since 15. It's been two years and already I'm preforming way better. There is CCTV everywhere in London, I swear there's one almost right outside of my house across the road.

  28. Aussie1994 says:

    Well, we don't really have any of this stuff here in Australian schools – at least the ones near where I live. However, at one stage my high school was planning on installing cameras around our campus, luckily they scrapped the idea. But I'm just so disgusted in this society. The madness never ends.

  29. Lim Lynn says:

    http://www.naturalnews.com/032664_students_runnin
    I review my earlier view in a different point of view where running and nutrition might reduce discipline issue.

  30. hamda says:

    This article makes me think of my high school! They recently put camera everyone. I remember i was in the offfice and saw the principal watching kids in the cafertia eating lunch and he asked the vice princpal "How do you zoom in" and he said "here let me show you" and they both looked at me and closed the door..it creeped me out i can't wait to finish grade 12…

  31. Kayleigh says:

    I really find it creepy that random people are watching what you are doing!

    I go to school and we recently had it refurbished and the teachers said about 500 hundred times that there are CCTV cameras on every part of the building so no matter where you are you are monitered. Even more creepy that they have placed signs saying 'we are watching you' with like a one eye symbol on it!! WTF i just hate it everything you do is watched or monitered your not safe!

  32. Janna says:

    I used to be a teacher in Texas and I taught for 3 years. Texas can't keep their new teachers; they always have a problem with that.

    I was a straight A student, never got in trouble, always responsible with everything and when I was hired to teach and intern (training to be a new teacher)….I did not get the needed and appropriate training. The state of Texas does a good job of training new teachers geared towards supporting our new ways of thinking because humanities consciousness is expanding and improving however; administrators and the unnecessary state mandated testing is not up-to-date with the new ways of thinking nor how new teachers are trained. So admins and how new teachers are trained are not on the same page.

    When I was working as a full-time science teacher I was incredibly unhappy. I loved working with the students but not for some of the admins. In the end, my signature was forged on a legal document, I did not get a copy of a legal document in the appropriate time frame, and when I requested another observation because the one I had that determined my contract renewal was staged beforehand, it was denied…..all Illegal under Texas state laws and I took this all the way to the school board and they did not support me and were in favor of the 3 who "conspired" against me. And to top it all off, this was the same school district I went through my whole life, from kindergarten to my senior year in high school…talk about the irony of the school system…….supposedly preparing their students for success and then they completely screw over their students as adults.

    Why did my bosses do this to me? the only things I can guess on this is because they saw me as a whistle blower, since I began asking questions since the person who was supposed to train me was getting extra pay and wasn't available to help me at all and because I was favored over many of the staff and students….who knows what I could have started or caused if I stayed longer. The school had budget cuts, so they chose the teachers they didn't like and since I never did anything wrong, that's what they did to have their reasons for getting rid of me.

    When I tried getting a new job, anytime I had a successful interview, they would call my principal and he would make me look bad and he intervened and kept one of my other references from being a reference by telling the person he couldn't, which is also illegal. one of the woman who wanted to hire me had told me what my principal said that kept her from hiring me. I asked around, and other teachers who left who he didn't like, he has done this too as well……makes it hard for them to get hired again. Since that was my first ever job from college and teaching jobs, he ruined my entire references…..I had to change professions……at least I am happy now. My health is better too because I am less stressed.

  33. CruelWorld says:

    i would prefer wearing a face mask like the one used commonly in a bank robbery,but every1 would get suspicious,so no use

  34. miss B says:

    I was talking about this article with my boyfriend, and he agreed with me that if schools take the stance that all children need to be dominated by authority because they are all inherantly naughty…it will even get the "good kids'" backs up… I know that I wasn't a trouble maker in school, but if I had to attend school under these circumstances even I'd rebell. Its a recipe for bad behaviour…(The opposite of what they are trying to sell)…and the situation will just play into their hands… "See…look at how unruly people are…we need more police…we need more security"….and then hello police state…

  35. Megadeth says:

    These bloody kids deserve to be spied on for being so damn Ignorant. We are at the lowest in education in the globe. Maybe we should keep em check so they can be better.

  36. B4fter says:

    … CCTV in toilet? crap…

  37. Brieanna says:

    I live in Houston Texas… no handguns. If so…. ummm o.O

  38. openminded says:

    im 19 and ive never believed in the school system since i was about 7 and a teacher asked me what i tought, so i answered what "I Thought" and it was "wrong" according to her, so then i replied why'd you ask me what "i thought" then……her reply………" go to the principles office"

    public school system is meant to tell you what to think and how to feel, cuz when you speak your mind, your lashing out or your being a little shit head.

    so basically, listen to me as i am the teacher and if you dont your gonna get punished.

    need i say more

  39. Me says:

    The schools are no longer interested in the 'learning' of a child these days because they damn well know that what they teach is lies. Like one blogger said, all you need is to learn how to spell and add up and any capable parent, whether single or not, is the best to do that as did I with mine. . All children have their own interests and that's what should be focused on instead of learning about a false history and such. As a grown adult who has only been researching the real history of our world for a couple of years, I was shocked at what I learned. My time at school felt wasted and I was cheated and used. My fear is that today's children will grow up so dumbed down that they won't even have the capability to do research. (except the chosen few) cos we all know that the powers that be want to put a lock down on the net where a lot of info has come from and I'm not saying it's all true, but if you know where to look, it's amazing what you can find…. We live in a world where things are too easy, especially for the western world. Take it all away and your left with your basic instinct. Would you survive?

  40. dawna says:

    Can't school just be normal?..home school who's with me?

    • things that make you says:

      FYI
      http://www.tuisskolers.org/index.php?option=com_l

      Homeschooled child confiscated for 2 years in Sweden

      Posted in Blog on June 08, 2011 by Bouwe van der Eems

      Homeschooling was legal in Sweden until 2010, when a new law was introduced by the Swedish parliament which banned homeschooling for all practical purposes.

      Even before homeschoolings was banned, homeschooling families have been persecuted by the Swedish government. One of these families, the Johanssen family, had their child confiscated. Read more.

      The Association for Homeschooling wrote a letter to the Swedish embassy in August 2009 and a letter to Swedish parliamentarians in June 2010. These letters can be read here on the website of the Association. In these letters the Association raised its objections against a law that will take away the freedom of Swedish parents to provide their children with a type of education that has a proven record of success. The adoption of the law is in conflict with art. 26(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations which states : "Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children."

      The Johanssen family was one of the families that were homeschooling their son Domenic, while homeschooling was still legal. After years of battling the social services over not sending Domenic to pre-school and not giving him the government’s “recommended” — though technically optional — vaccines, the family decided to move to India, the mother’s homeland. On 25 June 2009 armed police, at the behest of Swedish Social Services, boarded an airliner on its way to India from Sweden with the Johansson family and seized their 7 year-old boy, Domenic, for being (legally) homeschooled. There was no warrant, the Johanssons had broken no law. Since this date Domenic’s parents were only allowed short, 1 hour-long supervised visits once every five weeks, and Domenic still remains in state custody.

      These actions by the Swedish government has caused an uproar under home schooling and human rights organisations in Sweden and all over the world, such as the website of the Swedish Association for Homeschooling and the Free Sweden website. A facebook group dedicated to returning Domenic Johansson to his parents already has more than 4500 members.

      The U.S.-based Home School Legal Defence Association, the Alliance Defence Fund, the Nordic Committee on Human Rights, and others have been working ever since to get the case heard at the European level, since it appears that justice will not be obtained easily through Swedish courts. In February this year the European Union-based Alliance of Romania’s Families, a pro-family public interest group also proclaimed solidarity with the torn-apart Johansson family and urging the European Court to hear the case in a timely fashion. After nine months, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has finally assigned a case number to the application filed on behalf of the Johansson family.

      The focus on homeschooling in Sweden brought the attention of the world to issues in Sweden that run much deeper. A Swedish government report released in 2009 revealed that half of all children who had gone through Sweden’s foster care system over the last 70 years had been sexually abused — in the system.

      It is important that South African parents take note of the developments in Sweden, because Sweden is often regarded as a prime example of a successful welfare state, and socialist politicians are often inclined to follow the Swedish example. Influential African leaders, such as the successor of Robert Mugabe, dr. Sydney Tigere, have close links with the Swedish government. If South African politicians were to follow the Swedish example, this could cause problems for South African homeschoolers. To avoid the South African politicians do not follow the Swedish example, South African homeschoolers must become involved in initiatives to put pressure on the Swedish government to release Domenic and allow Swedish parents to educate their children at home.

  41. Brittany says:

    I graduated high school last year (in the US). I often said I felt like I was in jail. Always being questioned by counselors, teachers, and police officers riding around campus on their golf carts. It makes you feel uncomfortable. Students had to have our IDs on us "at ALL times" (it cost the student $5 to replace it if lost), and a signed pass to go to the bathroom or library… cameras were everywhere, though I didn't notice them in the bathrooms or gym locker room. ugh I'm still glad to be out of prision! I hated H.S., I wanted to be homeschooled. Middle school faculty were just as paranoid too! In the lunch room, there was a traffic light on a stand the principal purchased for $500. It measured how loud the cafiteria was getting, and if the students were being too loud, the traffic light would make an obnoxious buzz and turn red, then faculty would say "No talking for the next 5 minutes, you are being too loud!". So, we would have to wait for the traffic light to turn green again to talk… stupid.

  42. RandiBlu says:

    This makes me so thankful i go to an alternative school where none of this goes on, i think more schools should be like mine, the world would be such a better place @.@ (i hate how it sounds like bragging, but i really do want to create more schools like mine!) :)

  43. im so glad tht im home schooled my old primary got new doors wuere they took your fingerprint and only authorised peoplenwere allowed in or out of classrooms and the library and at a nearby comunity college they have a padded cell!!!

  44. Emily says:

    i am 14 years old…my parents and everyone around me thinks im insane for believing conspiracy theories. Can someone please tell me a way i can prove to them once in for all im NOT insane? They yell at me for even mentioning it…

  45. solo grinder says:

    you're 14. you're still under the authority of you parents.. they just want to instill their values in you.. which is normal.. show them your own mind is developing by having a rational conversation with them and not becoming emotional.. trust me – when you win your first 'argument' with a cool head and quip something like 'righto mum and dad, i love you.. but you're obviously not listening to me.. we'll try this again tomorrow eh?' (then you go upstairs and play some quiet classical music)

    i'm 35. who is my authority? the government. what values are they trying to instill in me?

    sort this thing out at home first.. remember your parents are actually living in the same world as you are – it shouldn't be too hard to get your point across. it may take some time for them to see their 14 y.o child is becoming an adult.. but that's what they were meant to do, right?

    one final thing; DON'T make the mistake of thinking you've put all the pieces together.. it just leads to more and more things.. at some point you have to say to yourself 'ok, the ride was fun.. but i'm sick of the ride now.. i must fulfil my life'

    enjoy your journey. i have hope for the future, with young people like you.

  46. 10919jasmine says:

    y do they need cameras in the bathroom,2 c us pee!

  47. EmiPark says:

    Children are always monitored and controlled, by schools, government, even parents: it's eugenics really. They are told what to do, what to like, what to think, how to live, if you don't do as the authority wants you're punished. Like Hitler said that if you have the youth, you have the future. This stuff has been happening for a long time now =(

  48. Boo_is_me says:

    I even feel like I dont need to read the whole post because it is evidently obvious that it has been getting worse I mean cameras — in the boys and girls loos?? To be straight thats like pedofillia. We are succumed to tell them our every move now or they put in consequences…

    We need to stand up when we are faced with this and remind them we are HUMAN.

  49. this should tell you the stand of the world leaders now…..they are not for the betterment of the humanity but rather distraction to it as they see us as parasites living and shortening the life span of their heavens which is the earth….VC published one article about this pictures at the denver airport which shows that sooner or later there gonna be a mass genocide..to get rid of some unwanted and unimportant human race from their places of paradise(narrow the human race to two billion people only)….the way to make these things to happen is by having everyone identified and known for what can do for the betterment of the earth or if not they will be get rid off….this should tell what the Bible says is happening..which the 666…do u think 666 is gonna come like a station where have the alternative to choose whether to go for it or not?…hell no!!!

    remember there gonna be hunger and famine and diseases out breaks….just look at the world now, who create disease and cure for it …..for what in hell will one create a disease for ?…it for a reason which only the chosen ones can see….they will use disease against those will refuse to take the 666 mark. What do think that this globalization is all about? for peace?….then why are the western world spending billions of billions on military materials for?….who are the enemies that are gonna use these materials on if they are fighting for globalization?….alliens?..hell no.

    these survillance thing is one of their tools to crack down on you..to know where you will hide when the global government come in and begins it authoritarian rule. they wanna know everyone including kids so nobody escapes from the great tribulation coming sooner than expected.

    United Nations will sooner or later disappear and the word word "Human Right" will be a myth to everyone soon…..

    even if they are fighting for globalization, who the ruler of the globe then?….this should tell you that this people are fighting for someone who intend give them fame, money and power for them to work at all instance to get it to power so it can rule over the world phyiscally…..

    Remember the Book of revelations say that there are seven kingdoms that will rule the world…we are now been ruled by the sixth one…and the seventh one is working day and night to pave way for the seventh one to come back to power…..and this what are they doing…working without getting tired to get the first type of rule which authoritarian government in to power( Anti christ )

  50. Emma says:

    Wow. I am in 8th grade and I never want to go to school again!!!!!!!!But I guess it's like this everywhere. *sigh*

  51. Robe says:

    Six years ago I worked as a security guard at high school and I was assigned to work in camera monitor room. 70 plus cameras. I remember principal would show off monitors to parents and assure them their children were safer. The worst part about it was they never complained, most actually thought it was good for their kids. The footage captured would stay in dvr memory for 6 days. You could burn video to disc and you could monitor from anywhere via web. I'm glad I quit. I have been awake for 4 years and I would never take that job again.

  52. Sophie says:

    In my school it's obligatory to have your finger print took so they could use it for "educational purposes." Yes, I'm being serious.

  53. Le Fish says:

    Well, at least I live in a certain "Third-World Country". Stuff like that's definitely NOT happening widely for, like, several years? But, I hear that two years will be added to our "basic education", so… Ugh. I HATE THAT. But at least I won't be going through that. :D

  54. Mona says:

    The campus police was a shock to me at first when I was in high school. It made me think that my school wasn't safe, why else would they have a office kept regularly at school? After a year, it didn't bother me to see him because he was fair with the rules and let most people off for the small stuff. What scared me was when they replaced him with a younger, violent and high strung officer during my junior year.

    There was this one incident where a kid stole a classmate's ipod. The new officer was called in and ordered everyone's bag to be searched. I already didn't feel comfortable with that but I understood why it had to be done. The jacker decided to bolt for it when the cop advanced to him and the officer chased him down, brought him back to the classroom forcefully, and pushed him down against my table area and started to violently frisk him, and used degrading language that would make even an innocent suspect want to fight back. He pulled an over the top display in front of an entire class. After that, I was more scared of the cop than of the mischievous students at our school. I also observed that violence, vandalism and bullying was more prominent in the school with the new cop than when the former. I found this odd and thought maybe he's purposefully inviting more instability onto the campus.

    I understand why secondary schools need some form of surveillance. For the sake of the safety of unsuspecting and defenseless students, I'm all for it. But if this surveillance is abused and used to target and victimize ALL students, regardless to if they have some sort of bad record, then I don't see how they expect stability on campus. I actually believe that it's enforcing more bad than any good.

  55. Darien says:

    Correction: Philadelphia's School District did not give its student's laptops; Lower Merion's School District, a suburb of Philadelphia did. We don't have nearly enough money to supply so many delinquents with a computer to misuse.

  56. marisol says:

    you know, i wish i could do something about crap like this and i wish i could pull my kids out of school and i wish i can keep them away from all the crap the illuminati do but i CAN'T. i hate when i find myself stressing off of stuff like this because i forget to leave everything in GOD'S hands.

  57. Ra___ says:

    I thank God for making me an Indonesian. Most schools don't have CCTV here. My school doesn't have them either, as they're putting all money they could gather to make our school nicer and cleaner.

    And our version of discipline is standing on the field for about 2 hours for being 5 minutes late. A bit harsh, but much better than being watched.

  58. Klizzy says:

    Anybody who attends a large highschool will laugh at the idea that they care about bullying. I remember there was one girl who sent messages to another student threatening to slit her throat and nothing was done. They only care when something ends up on the news that makes them look bad.

  59. Denim says:

    Im 19. I dropped out of school and obtained my GED and am now going to college but all of this is making me want to go into my old high school and fight for all my old classmates privacy/rights. I left my school because of the brutality the school system/Police officers was enforcing on us..we had Scanners,cameras,police on every corner I turned in the hallways as well as on the outside of the schools perimeter. Slowly but surely I see everyday life turning into an imprisonment. Im a very private person so to know the system is invading other peoples privacy is sickening. Especially The bathroom part. They are so lucky Im not apart of the school system anymore, I would have Spray canned every camera in that school. Ima start leaving the house with a big ass cloak on, because all this is getting mind boggling and the reason for that is NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE!!!

  60. Chingchang says:

    I must say, my school was just like this. I just graduated from a school, whose initials were coincidentally JLHS, which is the word "JaiLHouSe" without the vowels. We had strict hall monitors and surveillance cameras. You couldn't walk to the bathroom without at least 3 monitor's asking where you were going. All i can say is that high school didn't end up being as relaxed as i imagined it to be from all those 80's films.

  61. Nancy says:

    Thank God we dont have cameras here in Nigeria

  62. WOW NOW IM realy scarred to go to school :(

  63. Mishaal says:

    Oh My God! I just clicked on that article and the picture came up and nearly gave me and my bro a heart attack! THAT IS MY SCHOOL! and it's in Scotland and is ranked one of the best highschools in Britain. u guys probably think that it probably looks the same as every other school but i can see one of my friends on this, the the things hung up above one of the door opening is a certificate i recoginse we have won! The door opening is the entrence to the gym/p.e base. Even the uniforms are the same because we have blue and black ties and have to wear uniform exactly like that. The setting is all the same, i can see the top of the two trophy cabinets. My school is called Williamwood highschool. The thing me and my brother are confused about is how vc got a picture of this, our school has alot of pictures, yeah, but i looked on the website and google and didn't get this one. Maybe someone from our school knows about this website and submitted it?

  64. Mishaal says:

    here is link to a pic of my school from a few days ago from careers evening. https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Williamwood/

    this article really creeped me out!

  65. amber way says:

    Big surprise. Both my sons were sucked into the drug world that exists in the High School system . My youngest was not as personable as the oldest and was fitted with a GPS at 15 for using marijuana at age 15. He could not go anywhere other than the school grounds, home, and probation. It was extremely effective….he managed to smoke again…at school and bring it home. It was more a punishment for me than him even though I did everything humanly possible to keep him from it, shy of pulling him from school. I should have done that. Heads up people….OUR SCHOOLS ARE CESSPOOLS! If you love your children, get them out of any kind of school other than your own.