School removes cameras from toilets
A school principal is removing security cameras from student toilets after a two-day protest by pupils and parents.
The closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras were installed in the co-educational Scoil Mhuire Community School, Clane, Co Kildare, over the mid-term break.
The cameras were trained on common areas, rather than cubicles or urinals, but it provoked anger from students and parents, who claimed it was a breach of privacy.
Pupil Michael Jordan, who met principal Padraic Nolan yesterday, said he was shown how the cameras operated and he was happy about most of them.
In a letter to parents and handed to students at school yesterday, Mr Nolan said the cameras were installed to combat bullying and vandalism.
He told parents that they were turned off yesterday "in the hope that we will get back to a normal school situation again". He added that the cameras would be removed. "Over the last two weeks, we have had no vandalism or bullying in the toilet areas. I hope that the student body will now use the toilets appropriately," he stated.
According to the Department of Education, such an issue is a matter for the school board of management, but said the use of CCTV must be proportionate.
The department warned the use of CCTV to monitor areas where individuals would have a reasonable expectation of privacy such as in toilets would be difficult to justify.
Mr Nolan was not available for comment.