CCTV Surveillance in Israeli Primary Schools: Normalization, Resistance, and Children's Privacy Consciousness
44(2) Oxford Review of Education 204-220 (2018)
15 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2017 Last revised: 3 Mar 2018
Date Written: October 1, 2017
This study explored how primary school children perceive school surveillance by Closed Circuit TV systems (CCTVs) and how their perceptions relate to their privacy consciousness. It drew on interviews with 57 children aged 9 to 12 who study in three Israeli public schools that had installed CCTVs and on three interviews with members of the management team in each school. The findings indicated that in all three schools, educators did not discuss the CCTVs with the children. Consequently, most children had wrong various erroneous assumptions regarding the CCTVs, which led some children to wrongly believe that they were seen and heard in almost every corner of the school, including toilets and classrooms. The findings also revealed a tension between normalization of school surveillance on the one hand, and resistance to excessive surveillance on the other. In addition, the findings demonstrated that even young children, having been born and raised in a digital world with its ubiquitous surveillance, value their privacy and are willing to relinquish it only when they deem it justified. The moral balance voiced by the children regarding the circumstances that justify trading privacy for security resemble constitutional analysis.
Keywords: privacy, surveillance, primary school, CCTV
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