Fairfax County School surveillance cameras can be installed

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Fairfax County Schools now have the option of installing surveillance cameras on campus, months after a pair of incidents led to violence and injuries at two county high schools.

The Fairfax County School Board approved a policy Thursday night{ } to allow schools to decide whether or not they want to install cameras.

Installation would come after each school engages the community to gauge support for the introduction of cameras inside campus buildings, Assistant Superintendent Barbara Hunter says.

The controversial decision was settled several months after a rash of food fights and on-campus incidents left several students and teachers injured.

School officials, specifically principals, were frustrated because they have not been able to identify the students who started the fights.

Two of the more prominent incidents occurred this past may at high schools in Springfield and Centreville.

On May 12, a massive food fight at West Springfield High School escalated into further violence after someone pulled a fire alarm. Senior activities were temporarily placed on hold in the wake of the incident.

Several days later, four students at Centreville High School were arrested and faced various charges, including disorderly conduct and assault, in a scene that one student described as a "food fight turned into a mob scene."