How does a school committee respond to a year of remote student learning? How will the Springfield, MA School Committee respond to post-COVID schooling?
Now that public schools are reopening (just in time for summer vacation) what are officials worried about? Is it face-to-face learning? Is it in-person interactions with students? Nope, it is mass surveillance and how to let Real-Time Crime Centers (RTCC) monitor students under the guise of public safety.
As MassLivereports, the decision to let the Springfield Police Department monitor students in real-time “feels tone deaf.”
The school committee took a half hour to decide that the best way to make students and faculty feel safe is to allow Big Brother to monitor them in real-time.
It is becoming more apparent to even casual observers, that our public schools resemble our prison system. Our schools are increasingly tied to the school-to-prison pipeline with CCTV cameras watching a students’ every movement; to weapons detectors at entrances, to vape detectors in bathrooms, and to police officers waiting for students to commit an infraction.
Will tying school surveillance cameras to RTCCs be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back?
The Springfield Police Department’s Real-Time Analysis Center (R-TAC) uses BriefCam’s surveillance technology to monitor the public and students. As the video explains, the police use BriefCam’s license plate readers to ID and track innocent motorists without a warrant. BriefCam is also well-known for its facial recognition capabilities.
“Users can rapidly pinpoint people of interest, create scalable watchlist management and powerful rule configuration for real-time alerts in critical, time-sensitive situations using external image sources, digital images extracted from video, and pre-defined watchlists. The ability to detect, track, extract, classify, catalog and alert on persons-of-interest appearing in video surveillance footage in real-time.”
Is it a coincidence that police department RTCCs are closely linked to Fusion Centers?
As EFF’s “Atlas of Surveillance” points out, RTCC’s are part of Homeland Security’s 79 Fusion Center national network.