Two secondary schools in the UK have recently been given the go-ahead to trial the use of body cameras by teachers in their classrooms. These schools cite the trialling of body cameras as a step towards tackling “low-level background disorder” in classrooms that many teachers have said they struggle to placate whilst teaching.
Police are made to wear body cameras so that they are held accountable for their actions on duty, as people who hold a tremendous amount of power vis-a-vis the public they interact with. In a scenario where teachers wear them, the onus of surveillance would be on the children in the classroom.
Additionally, it could be argued that body cameras in classrooms would not adequately address the social issues that often fuel disruptive behaviour by children in schools. Mark Oldman, a headteacher for a school for boys whose students comprise mostly of pupils who have enrolled due to disruptive behaviour in other schools, believes that increases in low-level classroom disruption is not due to “an increase in nasty, naughty children”. Instead, he argues that such behaviour is a symptom of complex social backgrounds” and “schools doing their absolute best with a lack of resources, a lack of expertise and pressure to meet baseline targets”.
An important question that Law applicants may want to consider is, where do we draw the line between managing and policing? HSPS applicants may want to consider the importance of anthropological methodologies in unearthing the socio-economic causes of disruptive classroom behaviours.