State Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) has proposed legislation to install cameras in every enclosed classroom where special education students learn. KVUE
Kris Betts, KVUE 2:25 p.m. CST February 23, 2015
AUSTIN -- State Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Brownsville) has proposed legislation to install cameras in every enclosed classroom where special education students learn.
Senate Bill 507 states that all recordings are confidential, saved for up to one year, and both public and charter schools have to notify parents about the cameras. The cameras will not be installed if one parent objects in a written letter within 30 days of notification.
A similar bill was proposed in 2013 and failed due to concerns from teachers and parents across the state.
A lobbyist for one of the largest teacher organizations in Texas tells said he's worried about teacher's privacy and the quality of the video.
"Often time, footage is very grainy, it's hard to see exactly what's going on," said Monty Exter, a lobbyist with Association of Texas Professional Educators. "You've got legitimate things happening in some classrooms to do with the process of restraint, and when it's done properly, it may still look like you're doing something that you're not supposed to be doing when in fact you're doing exactly what you're supposed to be doing."
Special education teacher Richard Wiggins said he is also worried about privacy.
"Would people want to be in a legislature, or be lawyers or doctors or accountants if every day when they went to work, they had a camera on them?" Wiggins said.
The districts will have to pay for all these camera if the bill passes, but Lucio said they can accept gifts and donations to pay for them.
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