Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

DOE Promoted Administration Spy Cams With Link On Website

Big Brother Bloomberg, at it again:

Every school administrator knows that if you turn your back on these kids for one second you'll have a "Kick Me" sign plastered on your back and a thumbtack waiting on your chair. That's perhaps why the principal at the SEEALL Academy in Brooklyn may face an investigation for using school funds to purchase a $490 hidden camera pencil sharpener. An Education Department spokesperson tells the Daily News the special commissioner for investigation has been asked to look into the spying, but investigators won't have to dig too deep to figure out where the principal got the idea to buy the camera. The there was a link to it on the Education Department's website portal.

The city has since removed the link, because secret cameras may violate school rules that forbid taking photos of kids without parental permission. NYCLU director Donna Lieberman says, "When you have 5,000 police in the schools, why on earth do principals feel like they have to do their own crime solving?" Well, because what if the police are in on it? The NYCLU has for years been calling on the Education Department to reduce the number of cops in schools, and eliminate metal detectors.

The website that the department linked to had almost 50 undercover spy devices for sale, including a teddy bear with a built-in camera and neckties that double as "spy-ties." A principal at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens reportedly purchased a $200 hidden camera Exit Sign after the theft of laptops two years ago. That had at least one teacher infuriated: "It means to me that [the principal is] ... spying on ... what are we doing in the hallways and in the classrooms and in the teachers lounge."

Soon all this spying will be rendered needless when Bill Gates gets cameras into every classroom in the country for "accountability purposes."

You know, the stuff that's happening in the Mideast, with the people in the street rising up and overthrowing the oligarchs?

Maybe we should try it here.


  1. One of my students referred to the cafeteria food as "prison food." Actually, he was just the only one who called it that - the sentiment among the kids was that the school felt like a prison, especially the cafeteria, because it rotated among the four small schools in the building.

    That building has hidden security cameras everywhere in the hallways and public areas. It can be argued that those cameras are appropriate (depending on with whom you're arguing) - the building does have its fair share of behaviorally-challenged children, and the cameras have assisted the administration in resolving some incidents of physical violence among the students. One of the principals openly carries around a video camera to document behaviors - I always thought that "skirted" the edges of legality, but I guess I trusted that he used it only for that purpose. Naive, maybe?

    The Ed Deformers truly believe that every technological innovation that puts teachers and students at a disadvantage of any kind is an improvement. With all the union-busting and accountability-by-flawed-data, Foucault's panopticon can't be too far in the future.

    On the bright side, I'm sure Bill Gates and Michelle Rhee would love that. I live to make them happy.

  2. I had an appointment earlier and the person told me about this. I said, I bet if I go to Perdido Street School's blog, I will find the articles about the spy cams.