page image
Back to Administrative Procedures

Administrative Procedure 561: Video Surveillance

Palliser School Division Board of Trustees and its employees understand that privacy for all is a fundamental value in a democratic society.

Furthermore, the Division recognizes that safety and security is essential and, as such, this administrative procedure emphasizes that the practical use of video surveillance must be guided by a commitment to the privacy of students, staff, volunteers and the stakeholders of Palliser School Divisions communities to ensure an atmosphere that is conducive to learning.  When using video surveillance systems, Palliser School Division will ensure the safety and security of students and staff in the least intrusive fashion. Video surveillance systems may only be used to maintain a safe and secure environment in all sites owned and/or operated by Palliser School Division.

In this Administrative Procedure: 

  1. “Law enforcement” means
    1. policing, including criminal intelligence operations,
    2. police, security or administrative investigation, including the complaint giving rise to the investigation, that leads or could lead to a penalty or sanction, including a penalty or sanction imposed by a body conducting the investigation or by another body to which the results of the investigation are referred, or
    3. proceedings that lead or could lead to a penalty or sanction, including a penalty or sanction imposed by the body conducting the proceedings or by another body to which the results of the proceedings are referred;
  2. “Video surveillance system”  means a mechanical, electronic or digital device that enables continuous or periodic observing, monitoring, or recording of video in school buildings and or school premises for the purpose of safety and security.
  3. “Recording” means any record that is capable of being produced from a machine-readable record.
  4. “Personal Information” means personal information as defined in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
  1. In accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Palliser School Division may only use personal information collected by a video surveillance system to support the safety and security of Palliser School Division and facilities, for disciplinary, legal, legislative or law enforcement purposes, for the enforcement of administrative regulations, or for the use consistent with those purposes, or in accordance with court order.
  2. Video surveillance systems may only be used where conventional measures for achieving law enforcement or public safety objectives such as increased teacher supervision or security patrol are
    1. substantially less effective or are not feasible, and
    2. the benefits of surveillance substantially outweigh the reduction of privacy inherent in collecting personal information using a video surveillance system.
  3. The Principal of the school or the Facility Services Supervisor requesting approval of the installation, replacement or expansion of a video surveillance system must document the reasons why the video surveillance system is required, including but not limited to the following information:
    1. the completion of the FOIP Privacy Impact Assessment Tool
    2. verifiable, specific reports of incidents of crime, vandalism or safety and security concerns;
    3. examples of other measures of deterrence or detection that have been used or considered, and the reasons why those measures as less effective or not effective for the concern being addressed;
    4. results of consultation with stakeholders including students, parents and staff, as the case may be regarding the necessity of the proposed video surveillance system in the school or facility;
    5. the identification of the location(s) of surveillance camera(s) to provide viable measures of the deterrence or detection; and
    6. plans for the design and operation of the proposed video surveillance system that minimize intrusion on personal privacy.
  4. The design and installation of a video surveillance system must meet acceptable standards as set out by Facilities Services.
  5. Any digital surveillance system connecting to the Division network must meet Palliser School Division information technology standards.
  6. The purchase of a video surveillance system
    1. may not be initiated until the requirements of section 3 have been met; and
    2. must meet the Division’s acceptable standards as set out by Administrative Procedure 514 Purchasing.
  7. Use of Video Surveillance Systems on Division-owned or operated property:
    1. Video Surveillance systems may be used to monitor and/or record activity that occurs.
    2. at the beginning of the school year and during the school year, as necessary, the principal must notify students, parents, and school staff in order to maintain a safe and secure environment.
      1. the video surveillance system will be used to record and may be used to monitor and record activity; and
      2. personal information collected by the video surveillance system may be disclosed for disciplinary, legal, legislative or law enforcement purposes or in accordance with a court order or enforcement of Division policies and administrative procedures.
    3. the principal and Facility Supervisor must ensure that the approved signs attached to this procedure are prominently posted at each entrance to the property under surveillance, notifying people that the property is under surveillance
    4. Video surveillance cameras located inside a building shall not be directed to look through windows to areas outside the building, unless necessary to protect external assets or to ensure the personal safety of students or employees.
    5. Cameras shall in no event be directed to look through the windows of adjacent buildings.
    6. Video surveillance cameras shall not be used to monitor areas where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy.  Such areas include, but shall not be limited to, change rooms and washrooms.
    7. Video recordings may be used by the Division or designate as evidence in any disciplinary action brought against an individual arising out of the individual’s conduct on or about Divisional property and/or detect criminal offenses that occur in view of the camera.
    8. The school Principal or designate will ensure that any video surveillance is compliant with this procedure.
  8. Management of access and security of video surveillance information:
    1. An individual whose personal information has been collected and recorded by a video surveillance system may request access to the information, in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Where access is provided to the video surveillance system records in accordance with the Act, the Superintendent of Schools or designate shall ensure that a Video Recording Release Form is completed before releasing video recordings to appropriate authorities or the applicant.  The Video Recording Release Form shall indicate the reason for the request, the individual organization to whom/which the video recording has been given, the date on which the video recording was taken and the date on which the video recording was returned.  In the event that the video recording is not returned, the reason(s) therefore shall be noted on the form.
    2. Only a designated employee or an agent of the Division is permitted to install, maintain or adjust video surveillance equipment.
    3. Video recordings shall be secure and may never be disclosed, publicly viewed or distributed in any fashion except as provided by this procedure or authorized by law.
    4. Video surveillance monitors must be located in a secure space away from public view.
    5. All video storage devices including archived storage units must be located in a secure location with controlled access
  9. Retention of Video Recordings:
    1. Video recordings shall be erased or otherwise disposed of according to a standard schedule (21 days), unless they are being retained at the request of the school principal, Division official, law enforcement official, employee, parent, or student for documentation related to a specific incident, or are being transferred to the Division’s insurers.
    2. Video recordings retained under 9 (i) above shall be erased or otherwise disposed of 1 year after the incident in question has been resolved, except when the video recording has been used in the making of a decision about an individual.  Video recordings that have been used to make a decision directly affecting an individual shall be retained for a minimum of two years.
    3. Where an incident raises a prospect of a legal claim against the Division, the video recording, or a copy of it, shall be sent to the Division’s lawyers.  The original of the video shall be maintained by the Division until the final conclusion of the legal proceedings.
    4. Video recordings shall be disposed of in a secure manner.
  10. This Procedure does not apply to covert or overt surveillance equipment being used as a case-specific investigative tool for law enforcement purposes or required by law.