Camera rules to be strictly enforced Teachers, administration are actively imposing the camera rules on students

During class, students are required to have their cameras on, with their face visibly showing. However, many students have not been following these requirements. “When students are engaged and participating with cameras on, it's much more fun,” English 10 teacher Virgine Guillemette said. “I like it when students ask questions, add commentary, or react to what is going on in class.” Photo Credit: Unsplash
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With the start of the third quarter, teachers and administration are still observing an increasing number of students that are having issues with their camera or are choosing to not turn on their cameras during instructional times. Although this may just seem like a minor inconvenience, any student with their camera off during school hours is in violation of Southwest CTA Student Behavioral Policy.

“Everyone having their cameras on is important for teachers and students to make connections with each other,” SWCTA Assistant Principal Kendra Kelley said. “In the classroom, teachers are able to gauge student understanding by their facial expressions. Seeing each other’s faces is a very strong part of our human connection during virtual learning.” 

If a student repeatedly violates the camera policy, they could be subject to a parent/teacher meeting.

“The consequence is contacting parents and/or guardians and constantly nagging the student,” Kelley said.“If there are actual technical difficulties with a webcam, students can seek help by emailing teachers, staff, or our site-based technician.” 

Students can contact the Site-Based Technician Eric Zuniga with any technology questions or issues. If there is a special circumstance that prevents a student from turning their camera on, a parent can contact their child’s counselor through email. 

“It feels very disconnected when looking at a grid of black boxes and wondering if the students who are logged in are even paying attention to what you are teaching,” English 10 teacher Virginie Guillemette said. “This can make you feel unappreciated especially because it takes a lot of time to prepare lessons and activities for virtual classes.” 

For Bertrand Potts, automotive teacher, being able to connect with his students helps him teach.

“From a teacher’s perspective, students having their cameras on is very important,” Automotive Teacher Bertrand Potts said. “Being able to see my students makes me feel connected to them and that makes me feel good about what I am presenting.” 

Although many may find the camera policy to be unnecessary, more and more students are starting to see the benefits of the policy.

“I think having cameras on during online school is crucial for teachers to know if their students are here and ready to learn,” sophomore Daphne Huang said. “If students could turn off their camera’s there is a likely chance that the student is not actively listening, therefore, having cameras on is super important.”