Special education classrooms could soon be monitored by camera at parents request

Mark Wright, R-Covington (on left), discussed a bill that would require schools to install cameras in special education classrooms upon a parent’s request. (Photo credit: Sheridan Wall, LSU Manship School News Service)

By: Sheridan Wall, LSU Manship School News Service

Published: May 14, 2019

BATON ROUGE–Special education classrooms in Louisiana public schools might be monitored by cameras under a bill advanced by the House Education Committee on Tuesday.

The bill, by Rep. Mark Wright, R-Covington, would allow parents of children in self-contained special education classrooms to request that a camera be installed to monitor class activity.

“Under no circumstance was this bill meant to be a criticism of schools or teachers or any kind of gotcha moment,” Wright said. He added that his proposal is meant to be a “dispute resolution tool first and foremost.”

If installed, a camera would remain throughout the duration of the school year. Parents could submit a request the next year if they wanted their child’s classroom to continue to be monitored. Schools would be required to store camera footage for a month.

Wright said the idea resulted from a recent lawsuit in his district involving poor classroom treatment of special needs children. The bill might need to be considered by other committees and also would require passage by the full House and Senate.

Kathleen Cannino from St. Tammany Parish, the mother of a child with a genetic disorder, said she supports more accountability. She added that the cameras could “save a lot of heartache for a lot of parents and children.”

Read more in KALB.

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