Parents are outraged to discover a primary school installed a secret camera in a kindergarten classroom without telling parents or police.
Ashtonfield Public School at Maitland in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley used a camera to record a kindergarten classroom without notifying parents of the young children, aged between five and six years old.
Parents with ‘grave concerns’ have approached their local MP Jenny Aitchison, and she is so troubled by the camera confusion that she has asked for a ‘please explain’ from NSW Minister for Education Rob Stokes.
Ms Aitchison said parents told her there were two cameras in the classroom, ‘one was disguised as a gaming camera and the other as an alarm clock’.
A NSW Department of Education spokesman told Daily Mail the school put one camera in the classroom in ‘response to a police matter’ – but a NSW police spokesman said they only became involved once the camera was found.
Police said Central Hunter officers are ‘investigating a series of incidents’ which happened at the school stretching back to November last year.
‘These incidents all relate to the harassment and intimidation of a staff member at the school.’
The spokesman said the camera was ‘put in plain sight’ in the classroom, and the matter being investigated ‘does not involve nor put any students at risk’.
Police said they are not investigating why the camera was placed in the classroom.
In a letter sent to parents on Tuesday and obtained by Daily Mail Australia, school principal Deb Healey said a casual teacher found the camera in the classroom and notified other staff.
The camera was then removed.
In the letter, Ms Healey said ‘cameras were placed in one classroom to assist with identifying a perpetrator of repeated acts of vandalism and victimisation at the school’.
‘These acts were occurring when students and the class teacher were not in the classroom. The classroom in question was KS [kindergarten].
‘There is no danger to any students or teachers at the school. I am unable to comment any further due to ongoing investigations.’
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