Brianna Cooper thought she was doing the right thing. She believed one of her teachers to be speaking inappropriately to students, threatening them and generally bullying those under her watch. Feeling like she wouldn't be believed without evidence, she used her cell phone to record her teacher threatening to "drop" a student. Unfortunately, when she took the evidence to another teacher, she was immediately suspended.
The rationale behind the suspension is that all events within a classroom are considered private, and therefore illegal to record without express permission from all parties involved. To be sure, I can understand how prohibiting in-class recordings could also protect the privacy of other students. Still, Brianna's punishment was swift, while there is no word on any investigation of, or consequences for, the teacher. It's easy to believe that the administration is more concerned with protecting the school than with protecting its students.
What is most appalling about this incident is that it highlights just how much trust between students and school staff has eroded. Brianna had no faith that her concerns would be heard, and after this suspension, she likely has even less faith that the administration is looking out for students' interests at all. It's tragic that at such a young age, she is forced to be so cynical.
What do you think of this circumstance? How do you think the school should have reacted, and what would be a reasonable policy for cell phone recordings in the classroom? Tell us in the SF Globe comments section below.