New security cameras are coming to Carbondale Middle School, with the District 95 Board of Education approving an $83,184 bid from Carbondale-based Thomas Security Industries.
Superintendent Janice Pavelonis said the old security video system had cameras that didn't work, which students knew about.
She said that this fall, when there were viral "Tik Tok" video challenges, it was hard to follow students who might be misbehaving. "I felt we were very lucky as a district" that there were no major incidents, she said.
Board member Carlee Coplee questioned why a lower bid for cameras was not accepted.
Eric Trimberger, district business manager, said technology purchases could be exempted from "lowest bid" rules, and that Thomas Security is a Carbondale-based firm. The company works with the Carbondale Police, and sharing technology with the CPD could be helpful.
Pavelonis said that having the same camera systems as the CPD would enable officers to come to the school and immediately know what they were looking at. "There has been no discussion of giving access to the police or the city, with this purchase," she added.
She said the new system would offer broader and more detailed coverage.
Board secretary Angela Watters questioned how long the video footage would be stored.
Pavelonis said that policy would need be studied further and strengthened.
The board approved the new cameras in a 7-0 vote.