School guard fired for using security camera to watch cheerleaders

OCEAN CITY, N.J. - School officials have fired a security guard who they say used a surveillance camera to watch cheerleaders practice.

Dean Spencer, a retired police officer from Upper Township, said he and his union will challenge his dismissal from Ocean City High School.

"We're fighting it. That's all I'm going to say," Spencer told The Press of Atlantic for Saturday editions.

Spencer was fired Thursday for inappropriately using public equipment, infringing on privacy rights and betraying the trust of his position, school Superintendent Donald Dearborn said.

Dearborn would not detail Spencer's actions, saying citing litigation concerns. But the superintendent said digital tape from cameras was reviewed by school officials.

The new $40 million high school, which opened in September, is equipped with 60 surveillance cameras in hallways, rooftops, the school's auditorium, gymnasiums and the cafeteria. No cameras are installed in locker rooms.

Dearborn said the surveillance system is copy-protected to block operators from reproducing images the cameras capture.

"We feel there's no breach in our security system. Our investigation found it was limited to one incident," he said.

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