Photo: Burlington Community School District/Special to the Register

Photo: Burlington Community School District/Special to the Register

Source: The Des Moines Register

As police departments across the country adopt the use of body cameras, an Iowa school district is following suit — outfitting its principals and assistant principals with small, clip-on video cameras.

Burlington Community School District in southeastern Iowa is taking the unusual step of recording parent and student interactions with administrators — a move district officials say will protect both sides.

“It’s personal accountability,” Superintendent Pat Coen told The Des Moines Register. “Did we treat this person with dignity, honor and respect? And if we didn’t, why didn’t we?”

The 4,300-student district along the eastern Iowa border is thought to be among the first in the nation to outfit administrators at each of the district’s eight school buildings with a body camera.

But at least one safety expert calls the move troubling. Ken Trump of the National School Safety and Security Services called it a “substantial overreach” by school leaders, one he wouldn’t want to see replicated in other districts.

“They’re not in the dark alleys of local streets on the midnight shift,” said Trump, president of the Ohio-based consulting firm. “They’re in school with children.”

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