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Eaglecrest Drama: Parents Criticize Costume-Change Videotaping

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) - Parents of theater students at Eaglecrest High School claim the school has inappropriately used security cameras to videotape their children making backstage costume changes during drama productions.

But officials with the Cherry Creek School District said students changed in locations without privacy expectations, and the school's principal said it's inappropriate for students to undress outside of designated areas.

Still, parents' concerns weren't assuaged.

"Unfortunately, they have been videotaped in various stages of nudity. I was horrified because our children are being exploited," parent Maria Ford said.

The security cameras, installed after a district-wide bond election, captured some actresses mid-costume change in the wings during the school's latest production.

Some parents said they are shocked and disappointed and that such quick changes are a common practice. It is the potential audience that concerns them the most.

"We don't know who's watching it (and) who has already seen it. We don't know that it can't be hacked and put on the Internet," parent Emily Emerson said.

The school has now set up a tent for the students to change in during this production. Moving forward, they'll require students with quick changes to wear body suits, and they'll only allow changes in designated area.

Parents who spoke to CBS4 said that's a start.

A district official said the cameras are only meant to film the doors to the outside and that there was never an expectation of privacy there.

In a letter to parents, the principal wrote, in part: "It is inappropriate that any student has been allowed to undress to their underwear anywhere in the school outside of designated dressing, changing or locker rooms. There is no viable reason that this should occur in a school. (…) Rest assured that I will work closely with the theater program to address this issue moving forward."

The district also said only top-level administrators and security have access to the tapes. But parents remain frustrated the school won't turn the cameras off.

"Videotaping them in an area that has always in the past been private isn't keeping them safe,"



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