Texas senate passes bill to put cameras in special education classrooms

Texas senate passes bill to put cameras in special education classrooms

(KYTX) -Surveillance cameras could soon be in special education classrooms in East Texas.

The Texas senate has passed a bill requiring schools to place cameras in classrooms as soon as this Fall.

Surveillance cameras were rolling on a Florida school bus when an 8-year-old girl with special needs was pushed out the front door by her bus driver.

You can see the driver use her foot to push the girl off the bus.

"They call me stupid and retarded," said Austin Cooper.


In Ohio, 12-year-old Austin Cooper spoke out after being hit with insults allegedly from his teachers.

One of his classmates wore a hidden recording device to class and captured one of the teacher's aides allegedly insulting a student's intelligence.

"I've heard some personal horror stories. I've heard of a child being slapped," said Grace Ram.


Grace Ram's daughter, Christina, is a senior at an East Texas high school. Her daughter has special needs and cannot communicate clearly with her.

"She can't tell me if somebody pushed her or was mean to her," explained Ram.

Jacksonville ISD has surveillance in it's alternative classrooms and school buses.

Dr. Leslie Brinkman-George supports the idea, but she sees a number of privacy issues if this bill is passed.

"My understanding from our attorney at this point, when we have other parents viewing other students, we have to get permission from every single parent who has a child in that video. Either that or attempt to edit, and when we edit we're changing the record," said Dr. Leslie Brinkman George, JISD Director of Special Education.

And another question, where is the money going to come from to buy these cameras?

"You can except private grants, but that's soft money and it's not guaranteed," added Dr.Brinkman-George.

Grace Ram thinks it's worth the money.

"If you're looking at preventing abuse or what did happen if there was any occurrence of something, I can see some value to that," added Ram. 

The bill now goes to the house for consideration. If passed, it will take effect in the 2013-2014 school year.


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