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.’

camera in class

Would you be outraged if this was your child’s classroom?

Share your comments below

Via Daily Mail

  • I would be concerned. What do they do with the footage? Hope that it is kept securely and destroyed appropriately.


  • I wonder whether the classroom teacher knew about this in her classroom? I’m sure there would be repercussions from staff as well as the families involved.


  • I don’t understand why parents would get their panties in a twist over this- it only makes for a safer environment for the kids really because if anything happens there’s proof and things are very easily identified.


  • I don’t have a problem with this. If you don’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. I also agree with the secrecy. You cannot catch someone out if you warn them first. In many cases it is camera footage that is conclusive proof of wrongdoing.


  • I can understand the reason behind needing the camera BUT, parents should have definitely been advised. As parents, we put our trust in schools and teachers and this act certainly puts that trust in jeopardy!


  • Yes I certainly would be outraged. This is just plain wrong.


  • I think they should have alerted parents before their children were filmed regardless of the reason that they were installed.


  • Yes I would be outraged. not good enough


  • I think if they were to alert the parents to the camera’s word would have easily spread and would have jeopardised catching the person responsible so in this case I think it is understandable why they didn’t inform the parents.

    I do hope that they solved the issue and caught the person responsible


  • wow what a crazy thing to occur.


  • It is not allowed and people have to be advised and informed when cameras are in use. It is for the privacy and rights and protection of children and adults. No one has the right to your image without your consent. There may also be matters before courts and due care needs to be shown. Again it comes down to transparency. Would adults like it if they were being filmed secretly at work? I imagine not!


  • Well, when there clearly was a good reason when they needed to identify a perpetrator of repeated acts of vandalism and victimisation at the school, but I do think that parents should have be informed as it sounds rather serious.


  • Yes, because we’re so careful about not posting images of our kids.


  • There is 2 ways of looking at this. It will show evidence of any wrong behaviour and could protect a pupil as much as it does a teacher. If parents were notified there is a chance they are going to warn their kids and the activity happen elsewhere in the school. Obviously the School Principal wants evidence to show everybody involved. The Police will use it, also possibly other parts of the Education Dept.


  • wouldn’t it kind of defeat the purpose of it being a hidden camera trying to catch someone out if everyone knew about it??


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