Pennsylvania School Buses Record Student Speech

A state law allows school districts to record audio inside buses for both disciplinary and security purposes.

by / June 12, 2014

School districts are taking advantage of a Pennsylvania law signed this year that allows them to record student conversations.

While schools could already videotape what was going on in buses, the addition of audio recording is designed to eliminate the "he said, she said" types of stories from students when incidents occur, and to protect both students and bus drivers, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

School officials say the number of student incidents on buses have been increasing, and this additional tool on the buses is meant to deter students from misbehaving and to be used for disciplinary and security purposes.

That said, privacy experts don't think this is the best way to go about doing things. Students do have a right to privacy, and these audio recordings cut into their rights by capturing many innocuous and deeply personal conversations. They also teach students to accept a surveillance state where someone will watch them constantly.

This story was originally published by the Center for Digital Education.