Big Brother could soon have a spot in some classrooms

Local

Lawmakers are looking to put cameras in classrooms with children with special needs.  

It comes after a St. Tammany Parish mother sued a school claiming abuse. 

Kelly Anne Beile explains why leaders in one parish say cameras in classrooms work.

“It’s right there” (points at camera)

House bill 283 would allow parents of children in self-contained special education classrooms to request that a camera be installed.​

Brenda White is the Director of a Learning Center where cameras have been a part of the curriculum since opening the doors in 2011.​

“It gives the parent a little bit of safety that they can log in and watch their children.”​

According to the Department of Education, kids with disabilities represent three-quarters of all children who are physically restrained in schools.​

The author of House Bill 283 Representative Mark Wright says:​

“Under no circumstance was this bill meant to be a criticism of schools or teachers or any kind of ‘gotcha’ moment.”​

“The parents are more able to see what’s going on and get to know the teachers because a lot of them don’t get to see the teachers when they drop off in the mornings,” but this way, they get to see that teacher how she interacts with the child.”​

Texas and Georgia have similar cameras in place and the Bienville Parish School Board installed cameras in *all classrooms more than a decade ago.​

I spoke with the Director of Special Education for Bienville parish – doctor laureen mayfield. she said cameras in classrooms have been nothing short of positive.​

Mayfield said she can investigate footage when a parent has a concern and determine who if anyone may be to blame.

She also said the tapes can be reviewed for the purpose of teacher development.​

The legislative fiscal office estimates that installing cameras across Louisiana would cost taxpayers about $7 million. 

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