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School Surveillance: Primary and Secondary Schools

Primary and secondary schools have long engaged in surveillance practices. These include physical observation, attendance registers, classroom arrangement, uniforms, assessments and exams, and publishing of rankings or league tables. In recent years, with advancements in surveillance technologies, some primary and secondary schools have expanded their use of technology to surveil students. For example, some secondary and primary schools have introduced closed-circuit television cameras (CCTVs), metal detectors, face and fingerprint recognition technology, chipped identity cards, electronic registers, cyberspace surveillance, and even electronic systems to log students’ lunch choices so that parents can check their child’s diet. Although reasons of health and personal safety (e.g., the reduction of bullying, theft, smoking, junk food consumption, and truancy) are sometimes cited, in general, the implementation of surveillance devices tends ...

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