Training Children

A school has installed CCTV cameras in classrooms in a bid to avoid disputes between teachers and pupils and to tackle theft, the deputy head has said.

Mr Rush said that the reaction from staff, children and parents had been entirely supportive.

“The children are very happy here because they know they are on a school site where they are safe.

And this is the problem, that children ‘feel safe’ because they are under the watchful eye of a CCTV camera. They are being trained to believe that.

Likewise they are being trained that it is only right that your fingerprints can be taken so that you can borrow books from a library, that carrying ID cards is the norm and that you should feel safe now that you are put on a database as soon as you are born.

State control of your data is increasing and they people concerned have realised that ‘getting them while they are young’ seems to be the easiest way to slip these databases and surveillance systems in to place.

Seriously, look at the responses to the library fingerprints link – shouldn’t we be concerned that we are creating children who will accept anything for the sake of ‘safety’?

The question therefore is what can we do to educate children about the flaws in such systems?

My immediate thought is to make Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Doctorow’s ‘Little Brother‘ compulsory English texts. But what else? Perhaps ORG/FIPR/No2ID should start setting out their stalls at school fetes, and town shows, or start making child friendly websites?

But what else can we do?

I’m open for suggestions.

(And the first person to say that ‘if you’ve nothing to hide then you’ve nothing to fear’ will have their net curtains removed, their walls replaced with glass and be made to sign a declaration stating that they trust this, and all other future governments, as well as every soul that works for the civil service, the NHS, social services, transport your local council etc…)

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