It cannot be argued that two of the most difficult #jobs in our society are law enforcement and teaching. Many people who do not personally know someone in these fields think these jobs are easy, but spend a couple of minutes speaking to people working in these professions and you will quickly learn about how difficult these professions truly are. Unfortunately, in case of disputes that involve everyday citizens and people in these professions, it has become increasingly clear that a sizable percentage of our society, by default, takes the side of the everyday citizen over the teacher or the law enforcement official, which is alarming considering that everyone has the right to a fair trial in America. However, the objective person must ask, what is the truth, and how could we know what truly transpired during a dispute? My answer would be simple. Implement the technology we already have to make sure the events surrounding a dispute or incident are never in question. That is, video and audio record every single event, thereby obviating speculation about what really happened during any dispute.
Your first question might be to ask how this strategy could ever be implemented? Remember, in the United States at almost every traffic light, we already have cameras that are recording day and night, collecting terabyte upon terabyte of footage. As you probably know, all of this footage requires a plethora of disk or cloud storage space (for example, recording a one minute YouTube video will require gigabytes of space). However, in 2014, we do have this storage capacity. Case in point, I recently saw a 4 terabyte external hard drive on sale for $130. As far as the ability to record, this is not a problem either, as most Americans already have recording devices at their fingertips in the form of their mobile device. Therefore, from a practicality standpoint, there should be no impediments to continuous recording of all events in schools and during law enforcement encounters.
Some people might have an issue with privacy concerns, but with proper planning, these concerns should be overwhelmed by the amount of good this strategy would do for everyone. First, only certified professionals (for example, a third-party unaffiliated with schools or law enforcement) should have any access to the footage, thereby preventing this footage from easily falling into nefarious hands (for example, recording events in schools would be a problem because children would be recorded, but realistically this should not be a problem if only certified officials had the ability to view this footage). Second, I would argue that all of the speculation surrounding these unrecorded disputes and incidents damages the social fabric of the community, as was observed in the Michael Brown shooting in St. Louis earlier in 2014. The amount of tension and anger that ensued was arguably a product of the uncertainty surrounding what really happened. Finally, constant video and audio recording would go a long way in reducing the number of lawsuits and their corresponding burden on the legal system. Video and audio "transcripts" would make the events surrounding a dispute much less nebulous, preventing many cases from ever going to trial and thereby preventing much of the backlog experienced by the courts (Google "court backlog" to find many relevant articles), thereby making justice a speedier process. How could anyone argue that these benefits far outweigh the privacy concerns some people would have?
An Orwellian #future has oft been criticized as undesirable, tantamount to a society where Big Brother is always watching. This scenario has almost been universally criticized and deplored in all different forms of media, from movies and books to casual conversation and jokes. However, I would argue that justice is blind when justice knows what really happened, and as such, in certain important sectors of society, such as law enforcement and schools, we need to know exactly what happened when an incident or dispute occurs. In my mind, a little loss of privacy here is outweighed by benefits accrued by our entire society by obviating speculation.