January 16, 2007
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.---The principal at North Augusta High School is sending out a warning to his students: If you do anything stupid, you're going to get caught red-handed.
That's because North Augusta High School will soon install 22 high-tech surveillance cameras.
Strom Thurmond High School has 40 cameras spread across the campus.
It's the only way Deputy Charles Reel can keep an eye on the 940 students.
Every hallway at Strom Thurmond is monitored by one of the school's cameras. That way, if a student tries to run, there's nowhere to hide.
When every student's move is being documented, there's no room for excuses.
"Cuts out a lot of confusion," Principal Greg Thompson told News 12.
"You don't have to go on what kids say, but a clear picture of exactly what happened," said Kyle Smith, principal of North Augusta High School. That's why he says the school is getting its own cameras.
"If someone wants to do something inappropriate they'll have to think twice," Principal Smith said.
There have only been 11 reported incidents at North Augusta High School since May 2006, including two burglaries. But for Smith, that's too many.
"No, we don't have a lot of crime here in North Augusta, but if something happens to your child, the parent always wants to know 'what is the school doing'," he said.
Since there are two sides to every story and then the truth, this principal hopes he's found his answer.
North Augusta High administrators hope to have all 22 cameras in place by next week.
The price tag for the cameras is in the $22,000 neighborhood. The whole thing was paid for with the help of the Board of Education and the Area 2 Advisory Council.