KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – The Kettering school board has approved a contract to install dozens of surveillance cameras at both of the city’s middle schools.
Right now, there are four security cameras inside Van Buren Middle School monitoring the entrance. But soon, the school will have much more.
“We want our students to feel safe,” said Ken Lackey, business services director for Kettering City Schools. “We want our students to feel secure at school. We want them to be safe and secure.”
The new cameras will be found at the ends of hallways, in large rooms like the cafeteria and outside the buildings, Lackey said.
Van Buren Middle School will have a total of 28 surveillance cameras, Lackey said. Kettering Middle School, which has only nine cameras right now, will have about 80 cameras total, he added.
“With seven buildings at Kettering Middle School, it also required a lot more cameras to cover the outside areas,” Lackey explained.
Kettering City Schools started upgrading security a few years ago after the Newtown school shooting, Lackey said. Part of a permanent improvement levy passed last year is dedicated to school safety, he added.
The surveillance system at the middle schools will be similar to the one already in place at Kettering Fairmont High School, he explained.
“With the cameras… [it will] be much easier to investigate things that happen during the school day that may be not seen by an adult but reported by a student,” Lackey said.
Parents we spoke with said they are hopeful the cameras could help not only with investigations of wrongdoing, but will also stop it from happening.
“It’ll prevent a lot of bullying I think would be the main cause,” said Shirley Manes, a grandmother of a middle school student. “It’ll also prevent people from entering the school with bad intentions.”
“Anytime you’ve got extra eyes on children, I think it’s a good thing,” said Robert Hudson, the father of another student.
The total cost for this new round of security cameras is about $90,000 total for both schools, Lackey said. They will be installed this winter, he added.
School officials plan on installing more security cameras at the city’s elementary schools over the next few years, Lackey said.