Salem Teachers Recorded Unknowingly In Classroom

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV

SALEM (CBS) — The latest technology has some elementary school students in Salem in the hot seat.

The students were reportedly taping their teachers in the classroom without their knowledge, which is a violation of state law.

Even the youngest of students probably have a cell phone tucked away in their school back pack these days. And those phones and other technology can do all kinds of things including record audio and video without anyone knowing it.

The issue came up recently when a parent played an audio recording for the superintendent of schools. The recording was made in a classroom by a student, and the teacher did not know about it.

WBZ-TV’s Joe Shortsleeve reports.

The superintendent became very concerned when a second student at a different elementary school did the exact same thing.

William Cameron told WBZ-TV, “I think it was ill advised what was going on there. I think students and parents should know we think this is a very serious matter and we will not tolerate this.”

“The fact of the matter is, it is a felony and in Massachusetts it is punishable by a five year prison sentence and or a $10,000 fine,” said Paul Tucker, Salem Police Chief.

Cameron said, “I do think parents need to be keenly aware of what is permissible in a school setting with this type of technology.”

Outside the Bates Elementary School in Salem parents say technology makes it very easy to break the law.

One young mother pointed out “in school the kids have every kind of media. They have cell phones, iPods and you never know if they are on of they are off.”

Another mother said, “I don’t think it is right. They should not have that technology in the schools with them anyway. And the parents should not be sending them with it.”

At Salem’s elementary schools cell pones are only supposed to be used for one purpose at the end of the day. And that is to make a phone call.

The Superintendent is the one who made these incidents public. Cameron tells WBZ-TV that parents should never encourage their kids to do this.

  • Kim

    This is crazy!!! It is our tax money that pays these teachers and if they were doing their job they would have nothing to hide. What is it that you do not want us as parents to hear? There must have been a reason why these teachers were being recorded. Maybe we should stop listening to these teachers crying and listen to the recordings.

  • Penn

    Are you kidding me? Recording a teacher without their knowledge is a violation of civil rights. Ever consider that the student might just think the teacher is “out to get them” (as kids so often do)? If students/parents have legitimate concerns it is very easy to make a phone call to the principal or superintendent and voice them.
    Would you let a cop come and search your house for no reason without a warrant? I wouldn’t, because I have a right to privacy. And I would absolutely not want to be recorded without my knowledge, whether at work or in a casual conversation. It’s not because I have anything to hide, either. It’s simply an invasion of privacy and it’s illegal.

    If you have a problem with that, take it up with the Constitution.

  • Kims dumb

    Kim you’re an idiot. Why not let your employer record your every conversation and video you the entire day… If you have a job. Penn is on point. Clear violation of privacy! If you have an issue bring it up to the school like a responsible adult.

    • Mandy

      It’s interesting that you had to call Kim an idiot and not just state your case, thats probably why the teachers are being recorded. It’s not a privacy issue when it’s a public school and it’s my tax money that pays for it. As far as employers, they have every right to monitor what you do at work as they pay your salery.

  • KF4766

    These kids need cell phones why? Is it to call for a ride home after school? Doesn’t school end at the same time every day? And if a child misses the bus or is left behind for some reason, I’m pretty sure the schools possess the proper technology to make a phone call to the parents

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