School must pay after kids taped undressing

/ Source: The Associated Press

A jury awarded $40,000 each to 32 students who were taped by security cameras in a middle school’s locker rooms.

The cameras, which could be accessed remotely through the Internet, were inside girls and boys locker rooms for visiting sports teams at Livingston Middle School. The cameras taped students undressing between August 2002 and January 2003.

After a four-week trial, a jury on Tuesday found the Overton County School Board and the security company Edutech Inc. guilty of civil negligence.

“The families are grateful to the jury for holding the defendants responsible,” said Kathryn Barnett, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

School officials said in court documents that the dressing rooms were converted from storage rooms after the cameras were installed and the cameras were intended to monitor an outside door and hallway.

One month after the cameras were installed, they were noticed by students from another school playing a basketball game against Livingston.

The plaintiffs were ages 10 to 14 at the time, and they attended three different schools in the county. An attorney for the school board did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.