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33 J.L. & Educ. 275 (2004)
Webcams in Classrooms: How Far Is Too Far

handle is hein.journals/jle33 and id is 287 raw text is: Webcams in Classrooms: How Far is Too
Far?
I. INTRODUCTION
Trends in School Violence
Columbine, Pearl, and West Paducah bring to mind horrific images of
children opening fire on other children.' It seems as if there is a new
story of unspeakable violence almost every week.' Parents are demand-
ing action and school districts are scrambling to find a solution.' In the
wake of these highly publicized school shootings, communities are will-
ing to trade some basic legal protections for a greater level of safety.
What often goes unmentioned is that violence in schools around the
nation has been on a downward trend since the mid-1990's. From 1992
to 2000, nonfatal violent incidents of rapes, assaults, and robberies
dropped 46% from 48 to 26 per 1000 students. While students are safer
at school than almost anywhere else,' public perception has been shaped
by several high-profile shooting deaths in schools in recent years.
Consequently, school districts are introducing strict disciplinary policies
and developing safety plans that incorporate the latest technology.6
Metal detectors and surveillance cameras are now as common in subur-
1. W. David Watkins & John S. Hooks, The Legal Aspects of School Violence: Balancing
School Safety With Students'Rights, 69 Miss. L.J. 641, 713 nn. 1-6 (1999). See for concise list
of fatal school incidents.
2. Greg Toppo, Troubling Days at U.S. Schools Spate of Violence Raises Alarm, USA Today
Dl (Oct. 21, 2003). List of fatal school crimes since August 2003.
3. Ronald Susswein, The New Jersey School Search Policy Manual: Striking the Balance of
Students'Rights of Privacy and Security After the Columbine Tragedy, 34 New. Eng. L. Rev. 527,
527-28 (2000).
4. Jill F. DeVoe et al., Indicators of School Crime and Safety 2002, U.S. Depts. of Educ. and
Just. NCES 2003-009/NCJ 196753. Washington, D.C., viii (2002) (available at
http/lnecs.ed.gov).
5. Id. at v. In 2000 students were twice as likely to be victims of violent crime away from
school. From July 1998 to June 1999 there were 47 fatal incidents at school. This number
includes Columbine.
6. Susswein, supra n. 3, at 563.

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