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Officials spend $8,900 on security

By Staff | Apr 21, 2008

If they thought it was difficult to get away with “unacceptable” behavior in the past, added security in the hallways will surely have some Blue Earth Area High School students thinking twice.

School board members Monday night approved the payment of $8,900 for four security cameras and a security system purchased from BEVCOMM. in Blue Earth. “We’re not so concerned with outside threats. It’s things that happen inside the building and hallways,” says Jack Eustice, high school principal.

The cameras were installed in December and increases the number at the school to nine.

“The cameras are so we know what’s going on in our schools and we can address any issues right away,” says Superintendent Dale Brandsoy.

He says the new system allows adding up to 16 cameras.

Money collected from the “Safe Schools Levy” was used to pay for the security equipment, says Brandsoy.

Last year, about $38,570 was collected from the levy. Some of it was used to pay for the school officer position.

In addition, the funds have been used for the PEER and anti-bullying programs, purchasing cameras for nine school buses, high school alcohol-related car accident mock drill and other events that promote positive juvenile behavior.

Eustice says the additional surveillance equipment was installed because of the long hallways at the school. He says at times it was difficult to identify students participating in inappropriate behavior.

School officials hope the use of cameras will deter activity such as fighting, harassment, theft or bullying.

Brandsoy says the old security system — recorder, computer, receiver and display monitors — will eventually be installed at the middle school.

When cameras were first installed at the school students did not embrace the idea, says Eustice..

“They are serving their purpose. The students are aware of them,” he adds.

Eustice says two students recently reported an incident they thought officials should look into.

“The cameras have been in long enough that students are coming in requesting that we use them.” he says.