Parents and students are protesting a Colorado charter school’s decision to install surveillance cameras in student bathrooms.
Windsor Charter Academy Early College High School in Windsor, Colo., installed ceiling-mounted cameras in four bathrooms, two each for boys and girls. The cameras point only toward the bathroom sinks, school officials told The Greeley Tribune, and are intended to be checked only when needed. All four bathrooms are equipped with floor-to-ceiling stalls for greater privacy in the toilets.
Bill Bethke, an attorney in private practice who represents the school, told the newspaper the cameras are intended to allow school officials to monitor who enters and leaves the bathrooms for student safety.
But some students and parents at the campus are angry over the bathroom cams.
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“The first word that comes to mind is disgusting,” parent Trent Garrett told Fox31 News. “I never thought it would be on anyone’s mind to put cameras in bathrooms anywhere.”
Kaylee Garrett, a middle-school student at the charter school, which also offers K-8 classes, told the station the cameras would make her “really uncomfortable” using the bathrooms, though school officials say the cameras are only being placed in bathrooms used by high school students.
“It’s just a general invasion of privacy,” Tyler Stesen, a junor at the school, told Denver7. “I don’t feel they’re necessary.”
But the TV station also spoke to some parents, who preferred to remain anonymous, who said they supported the cameras for safety reasons.
The Weld RE-4 School District, which oversees the charter school, posted a statement on its site about the controversy.
“While the Weld RE-4 School District is the charter authorizer for Windsor Charter Academy schools, our District does not oversee their facilities,” read the statement “They operate independently and make their own decisions related to safety and security measures. Installing cameras in restroom facilities is not a practice that we follow in any of our traditional Weld RE-4 schools.”
Trevor Garrett’s wife, Annie, told The Greeley Tribune that she had contacted local police about the cameras. Police told the paper they visited the school and found no signs of any criminal violations in the placement or use of the cameras.