AUTHOR’S CORNER: “Facial Recognition Software in Schools” by Robert D. Sollars

Good morning campbellsworld visitors, parents and students everywhere.
This morning in the Author’s Corner author Robert D. Sollars is here to talk to us about a subject which is quite controversial.
I invite and encourage you to read this hard-hitting and rather bluntly written article.
Then I Invite and encourage you to informatively and politely speak out concerning your feelings on this matter here in campbellsworld and on Robert’s blog as well.
The views and opinions of the author of this article do not necessarily match the views of the owner of
‘Patty L. Fletcher’
However, that having been said I believe all sides should be heard and so I’m posting.
Again, I urge you to give your feedback.
Thank you for stopping by the Author’s Corner today and I hope you’ll drop back by soon. I’ve many totally talented Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing clients who will be dropping by later to share their most magnificent works with us.
This is Patty who is thinking of writing a blog post of her own on the subject written of here, and King Campbell Super Seeing Eye Dog A.K.A Bubba who says he will provide background snoring while she does so saying…
May harmony find us all and blessid may we be.

“Facial Recognition Software in Schools…Why?”
by Robert D. Sollars
Copyright July 30, 2018

There is a great energy across the country for facial recognition software to be installed on surveillance systems in schools. At this point, 27 states are considering it. My question is, why do you want to identify an individual AFTER they get into the facility to kill people? What purpose does that serve? There is no purpose except to mollify parents and the community, to try to convince them that they are doing something to prevent school violence. Being realistic, that’s all it is: window dressing.

Here is a recent article from the Associated Press that shows the extent of the issue.

“Schools Eye Facial Recognition Technology to Boost Security”
Associated Press (07/23/18) Thompson, Carolyn

As schools consider ways to improve security, one trend that is gaining traction is the use of facial recognition technology. For example, the Lockport City School District in western New York plans to lead a debate within the community about the technology’s potential effectiveness, student privacy, and civil rights. Lockport wants to utilize a system that will help security officers quickly respond to the appearance of expelled students, disgruntled employees, sex offenders, or certain weapons the system is programmed to detect. Administrators say such a system could thwart future school shootings. However, the New York Civil Liberties Union has asked the New York Education Department to block the use of the technology at any New York school. Any school considering facial recognition must consider who will have access to data, how such a system would be managed, and whether students can opt out, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jennifer Lynch. Meanwhile, individual schools and districts around the country, as well as some governors, have expressed interest in implementing various facial recognition systems for security purposes.

While the idea of wanting to recognize and identify those people, i.e., sex offenders, is a fine idea, it still doesn’t discuss anything about securing the perimeter, which is where it needs to start. The issue with privacy, concerning which I agree with the NYCLU, is not up for debate in this blog post, so I won’t address it.

Here is another article from earlier in the month that discusses it further.

“NYCLU Tries to Block Lockport Schools’ Facial Recognition Project”
Buffalo News (06/19/18) Prohaska, Thomas J.

The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) says a project to install facial recognition software in Lockport schools endangers the rights of students and teachers. NYCLU is now asking New York State education officials to cancel their approval for the $2.75 million project. By the time school reopens in September, some 300 new surveillance cameras are to be installed in 10 Lockport City School District buildings, along with software that the vendor says will match the faces seen by the cameras to lists of criminals, sex offenders, and other barred people. When the software makes a match, an alarm is to be sent automatically to district officials and perhaps to police, who can use the information to track down the intruder. Currently, the District’s security cameras must be manually reviewed, says Lockport School Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley. However, critics like Jim Shultz, the father of a Lockport High School student, say the response time will only be a few seconds faster and believes a cheaper and more effective security measure would be to harden the entrances to the schools to make it more difficult for intruders to enter.

Lockport schools want to spend nearly $3 million on this technology to secure their schools. But why? Spending millions of dollars on such software is useless and wasteful if you don’t harden the perimeter. If you leave a door unlocked and don’t expect someone to walk in, you are being awfully naive and foolish. Would you personally leave your front door unlocked and open and expect a camera inside your home to prevent a burglary?

Jim Shultz, the father quoted, has the correct idea: Harden the perimeter first, then start worrying about the interior. I’m sure you have heard the old cliché about locking the barn door after the horses have left. This is the same thing: too much reaction and not enough preventative action.

This comes down to wanting the predator to come into the school and kill people before you can stop them from doing it. Why would you want someone to come into the school or business and kill people, and then you recognize them after it is all over? Doesn’t make much sense to me. Stop them before they ever get into the facility, and mass murder in the halls of academia will decrease rapidly.

I will state it bluntly and succinctly here, in case you haven’t caught it yet. These administrators and district officials are idiots, totally stupid. Indirectly, they are inviting these perpetrators to come into the school and kill classmates, staff, and commit other such carnage as they can—including traumatizing hundreds, possibly thousands, of teenagers.

Schools, their administrators, and state officials will deny the idea that they are inviting these predators into the school. But if you look at the statistics from recent years, it doesn’t matter what they want to do or the good they think they are doing. Sixty percent of all school predators will die either by their own hand or by suicide by cop. Why should they care if they are recognized after the fact?

A far more effective idea is to do what the Tombstone Arizona school district did, and much less expensively. That is, place signs outside the school and at entrances that announce “Our staff may be armed.” That is far more likely to deter someone than facial recognition software. Do you remember the point I made in my most recent book (Murder in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Prevention) and several blog posts published after the book came out? Bullies don’t like to be confronted. If they are confronted, or if the possibility of being confronted is readily apparent, as in Tombstone, then more than likely, they will not perpetrate their murderous rampage. In all likelihood, if they were contemplating both murder and suicide, they probably wouldn’t go into a school where they might be confronted, because chances are they will be confronted and stopped before killing anyone.
I stated in a previous post that we need to become more proactive rather than reactive to these kinds of incidents. While the school districts and states believe they are doing the right thing, the idea of spending money is so ingrained in them that they think they know better than the citizenry and security professionals. They can’t see past the technology that they think will solve all issues. But it never has, and it never will.

Remember: “It is always better to attempt to prevent an incident than stop it after it has started.” — Robert D. Sollars

So, let’s get with it and prevent it rather than spending millions of dollars that the taxpayers of these states and districts don’t have. If we continue on this course of stupidity with this kind of thing, then we will have no hope of preventing more slaughter within our schools, and the fools wastefully spending our tax dollars will be to blame.

The last question to ask of you in this post is a simple one. Would you rather spend $3 million to recognize people once they get in and start killing others, or the same $3 million to maybe stop someone before something happens and there are injured, dead or dying, and traumatized teenagers on the evening news? //

Robert D. Sollars helps organizations to safeguard the lives of their employees and students and lessen their risk of violence, as well as with other security–related issues, using time–tested and proven ideas.
Twitter: twitter@robertsollars2
Facebook: Sollars
Phone: 480-251-5197
He is the author of three books on preventing violence in both schools and businesses, all available on Amazon.
His book–related website, with full information on his most recent book, Murder in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Prevention, is:

I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear

Permission to reprint and share? Of course, with these guidelines: The original content must be printed in full, with original wording and full attribution.

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6 Responses to AUTHOR’S CORNER: “Facial Recognition Software in Schools” by Robert D. Sollars

  1. Thanks for posting this, Patty. This is indeed a controversial and complicated issue, and we all need to read and hear arguments on different sides.


    • Patty says:

      Yes we do.

      My personal opinion, part of the problem now is that schools are turning into prisons, children are not taught about earning trust they’re set up to break the rules to begin with and there are far too many children living in homes where there are no ways for them to learn proper manners and behaviors because the parents haven’t a clue about them either.


      • You are correct but schools as prisons…not so much. I could design a school that would look like a prison.


      • Patty says:

        Yes you could, and it would be extremely counterproductive.

        Children cannot learn to earn trust if they’re not put into a situation so that they may do so.

        Once said trust is broken it is up to parents and schools to work together with the students or student who has broken this trust.

        Thanks again for your post and your comment. I hope other readers here on campbellsworld will chime in concerning this extremely important topic.

        Remember as long as your comments are polite, not pushy or preachy all are welcome to speak out.

        So, readers, what say you?

        Do you agree with Mr. Sollars and his book if you’ve read it as well as his post here, or do you have a differing opinion on how things should be handled in our schools?

        If you’ve read Robert’s book what did you think of it? Do you agree with what is within its pages, or no?

        If you agree, tell us why. If not, please let us know why.

        We’re happy to hear from you.

        Nothing is solved by silence and the problems of violence in our schools and communities is huge. So speak out.

        I’d especially like to hear from teachers who work in the schools as well as current security officers who are up on today’s standards.

        If you’re working as a teacher or security officer how about letting us know where if possible.


  2. Thank you for posting this Patty.It is important that everyone works together to help save kids ives.


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