Video cameras, bilingual cred, proposed for schools

For those who follow school-related news, there were a couple of noteworthy items in today’s Kitsap Sun.

The Everett School Board on Tuesday narrowly approved expanded use of video cameras on school grounds. About 400 to 600 digital security cameras will monitor all public areas in and around the schools, except in places where people expect privacy, such as restrooms and locker rooms, The Everett Herald reported Thursday.

Notice of the surveillance will be posted on school property. Advocates says the extra videotaping is needed for the safety of students and staff. A new building and technology levy is paying for the system. Videotaping has previously been used on buses in Everett.

The vote was 2-1, with two other board members absent. Dissenting board member Ed Peterson said there should have been more public discussion before the vote. Board president Jeff Russell, who voted “yes,” said he felt the board could communicate to the public its heightened concern for security in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings.

Meanwhile in Washington, D. C., Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., has proposed a bill that would credit students who can speak and write more than one language. An increasingly global economy demands a workforce that is fluent in more than one language, Brownley says. She advocated a bill in California where seniors receive a State Seal of Biliteracy if they can prove they can read and write in two languages or more. “It’s critically important for our young people to speak a second language,” Brownley said.

Kitsap, North Mason, your thoughts?

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