Students are never really alone in the hallways. Whether they are walking to get a drink of water or skipping class, security always has a set of eyes watching.
“We have security cameras deployed in the hallways so during Learn sweeps or tardy sweeps, if kids are just out and about, an administrator can pull up,” School Resource Officer Mike Allen said. “They are not to spy on kids. It is to keep the school safe. If incidents do occur, we are fortunate to have video to go back and review it.”
Allen said Marshall is among the most secure schools in all of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).
“We have probably some of the most cameras of any [FCPS] school,” Allen said.
After the shooting in Parkland, Florida, Congress passed legislation, allowing federal grants to states for security purposes. On Oct. 21, the Department of Justice awarded FCPS 500,000 dollars.
“Cameras are expensive [and] the servers required to run them are expensive,” Allen said. “500,000 dollars is a huge sum of money, but […] if you spread [it] out to all of [FCPS] each school gets only a tiny little piece.”
Students said they are wary of the idea of “Big Brother” watching them in the hallways.
“[School] security can be a bit extra,” junior Jeriah Bennett said. “Instead of focusing on stopping students from skipping, they should make it so students don’t even want to skip.”
Sophomore Nathaniel Lopez said the potential invasion of privacy is a concern for him.
“Cameras are a great idea,” Lopez said. “But you need to make sure that [faculty] aren’t spying on people. What’s next? Cameras in bathrooms?”
Meanwhile, sophomore Andrew Perez said he is not concerned about privacy violations.
“I wouldn’t be too weirded out, due to the fact that I do trust the school system and how it monitors areas in the school,” Perez said. “It’s too make sure that [students] don’t do something illegal.”
Perez said the amount of security around the school may seem strange, but it is appropriate.
“When you are the only one in the halls […] it may seem weird that they are watching you, but for me personally I usually don’t go out of class much neither cut class,” Perez said.
Allen said another area which needs improvement is the preparedness for school threats.
“[Security and staff members] don’t do training together,” Allen said. “I know they’re teachers [and] not law enforcement, but there are little things like closing and locking your doors, [which] stops probably 99.9 percent of all the school shooters.”