The student-run newspaper of Cleveland High School


The student-run newspaper of Cleveland High School


The student-run newspaper of Cleveland High School


Security Camera Installation Underway

Clarion photo Alma Trail
Workers have been installing security cameras throughout the school, most recently on the main hall.

After incidents of vandalism, graffiti, and hate speech, Cleveland has rolled out plans to install 25 cameras in all hallways around the school. These security cameras, stationed at the exits and stairways, seek to prevent further damage to school property. While the installation is underway, Cleveland students wonder: is this the best course of action? Students have many concerns, among them, about how the money is being spent.

So why did the school allocate the budget to this cause? The money actually came from a $1.2 billion dollar bond measure that was passed in 2020 for improving and upgrading infrastructure issues. While many Portland high school campuses received cameras in their renovations, Cleveland has yet to begin its long awaited remodel. Despite this, these security cameras are still being installed in all PPS high school buildings due to safety concerns and vandalism incidents.

“It’s happening across all the high schools as far as general safety and security upgrades, especially after last year where there were multiple instances across the district,” notes Vice Principal Sean Murray.

“We had a really huge, wide scale graffiti that was done at the school and the stadium. We just had the one small camera at the front of the door that doesn’t have the great wide fielded view,” explains principal JoAnn Wadkins. “That would have helped the investigation about who came and graffitied the school.”

Vandalism incidents like this have occurred across the district, and are the main reason these cameras are being installed. But while many students find the cameras to be effective, some argue that this root issue is often exaggerated.
“People aren’t gonna do it if they know they could get searched or suspended,” sophomore Josie Keilani explained. “But they close the bathroom when someone draws a star on the wall because it’s ‘graffiti’, so the bathrooms get closed kind of for no reason. I haven’t seen that much graffiti.”

Junior Akira Brown agreed, adding, “I believe that installing cameras at Cleveland for the safety of the students is valid but some students may disapprove due to their privacy.”

While some agree with the actions taken, others think that this money could be spent elsewhere.

“I get that this isn’t the school’s money, but I still feel like there’s other areas of Cleveland that need much more improving,” shared Sabrina Johnson, sophomore. “Clubs, sports, and extracurriculars all need funding. Some of the East Wing doors don’t even lock properly.”

Currently, Cleveland is only in the beginning stages of installing the cameras with wiring being put in for the cameras all around the campus. Some cameras have been installed but are not operating. Despite this early start, the project won’t be finished until the end of 2024, school officials said.

The cameras are one of many slated renovations stemming from recent state and local funding to make schools safer. The funding has led to the installation of safer classroom door locks and security fencing, for example.

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About the Contributors
Lyrik Hembree, Student Life Reporter
My name is Lyrik and I'm a Sophomore at Cleveland. This is my first year on the Clarion and I'm the editor of Business as well as a reporter for Student Life.
Kaya Otto, Student Life Reporter
My name is Kaya, and I'm a Junior at Cleveland. This is my first year on the Clarion, but my second year in journalism. I'm a reporter for the Student Life section.

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