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15.6.14

RECORDING ON SCHOOL BUSES * USA: Security vs. Student Privacy

* Pennsylvania - Audio recording on school buses prompts debate over

(Photo: A Pennsylvania school buses legislation allow the use of audio recording devices on) 
Pittsburgh,PENN,USA -Education Week blog, by Evie Blad -June 12, 2014: -- More Pennsylvania districts have installed audio recording devices on school buses since Gov. Tom Corbett signed legislation in February allowing the practice for "disciplinary and security purposes," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports... Video recording was already permitted on school buses. But, before legislators changed the state's law, most districts did not record audio on buses becauser the state's Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act prohibits taping conversations without a party's consent... So why record audio on school buses? According to the Post-Gazette: "A 'high volume of incidents' on buses prompted a need for increased security and monitoring, said Dan Castagna, West Mifflin Area superintendent, who hopes the recordings will be a 'deterrent' ... Supporters of the change noted that the supervisors of students on buses are typically the drivers, who are also tasked with, well, driving...  But some argue such recordings are a violation of students' civil liberties. The ACLU has protested school-related video and audio surveillance in other areas, and its Pennsylvania chapter has raised some concerns about the bus recording change...

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