PHOTO: While polled students almost unanimously think cameras should not be required, there is disagreement between teachers.
By Lewis Herring-Tillman,
As school begins online, some Davis High teachers are opposing the district’s decision to not mandate the use of cameras during Zoom classes.
Michael Kanna, a psychology and history teacher, has sent multiple emails to other teachers and staff members on the issue. “Every teacher I’ve talked to thinks that not doing what other schools are doing undercuts teaching,” Kanna said.
According to Kanna, other schools in the area have been requiring cameras without a problem. This is to make sure students are paying attention and makes it easier for attendance. More importantly, he believes that switching cameras off can damage the relationship between student and teacher, and gives students license to be distracted.
“If we’re all just looking at a bunch of initials […] you don’t get a smile or anything,” Kanna said. “This year the failure rates are going to go crazy because the kids that are disengaged, they do have the easy way out.”
However, English and history teacher Richard Ferguson believes differently.
“The district has already told us we can’t punish students for not turning their video on,” he said. “We can try and figure out ways we’re going to nail the students who don’t have their cameras on, or we can make the material engaging.”
Junior Amina Malik is president of DHS’s Junior State of America, a political discussion club. “While it should be encouraged, people with a difficult home life may not be able to turn it on and not everybody can keep them on all the time,” Malik said.