Can a Private Investigator Follow You to Your Children’s School? #143

The title of this article was changed to more clearly reflect a question I found that was search for. The question searched for was “Can private investigators stalk you at your kids school?  Typically people who don’t know anything about private investigators use the word stalking when it comes to private investigators conducting surveillance.

Can a private investigator follow someone who takes their kids to school?

There are many things private investigators avoid during a surveillance. Most insurance clients want us to avoid weddings and funerals though there are clients that have asked investigators to document what they can in wedding receptions (which I don’t really agree with).

A general rule private investigators follow is not to conduct surveillance from school property. And I follow this rule during school hours. Off hours (when school is not in session) I have no problem parking in a school parking area.

Following people to schools when they drop off their children seems creepy especially from an outside perspective or from the person being followed. I totally understand that.

But think of this situation from a private investigator’s perspective.

Should a private investigator stop following someone just because they drop their kids off at school?

Most of the time the first location someone with children goes to in the morning is to drop off their kids at school. Sometimes it is the first chance a private investigator gets to identify his subject. It is the first time video might be obtained of the individual. After someone drops off their kids they are more likely to go to another location because they are already away from their home.

School House

It is a public location

Private investigators aren’t following people into school. Typically we just document activity from outside of the school. Outside of the school is what anyone can typically see; it is in public view.

We aren’t the bad guys

If private investigators follow someone who drops their kids off at school it is only to document that person. We are not there to videotape anything other than that individual. It is just like following someone to a park. There might be kids at the park but again we only are there to document the individual at the park.

Private Investigator

Should we not follow someone picking up their children from school?

All the previous reasons still apply to someone picking up their children. It is another opportunity to get activity from the person we are watching. We can’t just let someone go just because they go to a school. It isn’t an area where there is some free pass that makes a private investigator stop following someone.

For me knowing that someone is going to pick up their children from school is also a way of finding someone if I have lost them during a surveillance. It is another opportunity to find someone and continue with the surveillance day.

Would I follow someone to a high school football, wrestling or other sporting event?
Yes I would follow someone and watch them during a high school sporting event on school property if it is open to the general public. It would be after school hours and anyone could attend an event like that.

Final thoughts

Following someone to drop kids off at school isn’t creepy if you are only there to document the individual. And I am not walking around a school campus during school hours. I would have no permissible reason to be there. And you can be sure that I am very careful when videotaping activity in front or near a school. I know how things could be perceived. I too am a parent.

If you are a private investigator I hope this helps you when making decisions about videotaping around schools. If you are someone being followed when taking their kids to school by a private investigator this may shed some more light on why we do it.

If a private investigator follows you into your children’s school during business/school hours, alert the staff and even the police. I don’t believe anyone should be on school grounds during school hours if they don’t have a reason to be there.