FOIL Friday – School Video Surveillance Footage

Yes, since school video surveillance is funded through public funds, you can obtain it through FOIL.

From: “Francesco Portelos”
Date: Feb 24, 2014 9:19 AM
Subject: FOIL Video Surveillance
To: “” , “FOIL”

Dear Mr. Baranello,

Pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law, please send me copies by Email of the following records:

– Thevideosurveillance footage from cameras outside room 125, 131 and view of hallway at Room 105 from School Building R049 recorded on February 14, 2014 from 7:25am to 8:05am.

I would appreciate a response within five business days of receipt as required by law.

Thank you for your cooperation.


-Francesco Portelos

As a matter of self-preservation, a man needs good friends or ardent enemies, for the former instruct him and the latter take him to task” -Greek Philospher Diogenes


Now you might ask why I requested that specific time, date and location. The answer lies in my post from February  called Projector and Union Busting Trumps Safety Concerns

In that post I speak about how Principal Linda Hill was so rushed to drop off equipment for her meeting that she interrupted my union meeting. I was connected remotely via webcam and she stated that she had no idea we were meeting. The footage I received shows that’s not true.

Also, remember how to appeal constant denials of the records you requested.

From: “Francesco Portelos”
Date: Apr 29, 2014 6:36 AM
Subject: Appeal F10,041
To: “Courtenaye Jackson-Chase”
Cc: “FOIL” , “Rene Mirtza” , “Robert. Freeman” ,

Good morning,

I am appealing the constructive denial of F10041. The request was for video surveillance footage that should have been preserved.

Being familiar with the surveillance software, I know the files are easily extracted, saved and can be placed on a CD. I do not see why it is taking months to forward that information from the school.

Francesco Portelos


Remember that footage is kept for roughly 60 days.

Footage below shows Principal Hill walking with papers to our meeting room, breaking it up and coming back a minute later to get a laptop for a projector already set up. Then returning back to her office.



Principal Hill going to disrupt a UFT meeting


Principal Hill coming back to get a laptop as UFT members pour out of room 105 in upper right corner


Principal Hill goes back to drop off a laptop that could have been done after our meeting


Principal Hill returns a minute later leaving the meeting room empty as staff congregates confused.

Be creative with FOIL and use it as a tool for good.

One teacher told me they are now using this method to show their gotcha observations were less than 15 minutes. Smart!

Happy Friday !

About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
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