Monroe Metropolis Colleges delays placing cameras in particular schooling school rooms
MONROE, La. (KNOE) – Monroe City Schools is delaying adding cameras to special education classes despite new state law mandating it.
In June, Governor John Bel Edwards signed law requiring cameras in special education classes if a parent so requests. A parent could also see the footage upon request.
However, at a policy committee meeting on October 4, the board decided to postpone further discussion of the implementation of the law to a later date, citing concerns about the funding of the cameras and the protection of student privacy.
“Due to the legal requirements that we have to protect the privacy of students, we cannot publish this video, so there are already some restrictions on the meaning for parents or guardians,” said board member Jennifer Haneline.
She also had concerns about how the cameras would be funded. The bill was stripped of all means when it passed through the Louisiana Legislature.
“Children with disabilities have very special needs,” explains Haneline. “For you to pass something that you consider very important, but actually not to invest any dollars in it, in my opinion that speaks for your commitment to our children with disabilities.”
Despite her concerns, Haneline believes cameras could be a helpful tool.
“I think it could be very important for these students with disabilities to make sure they are protected and safe,” Haneline told KNOE.
Konstance Causey, the assistant director for families in northeast Louisiana, spoke out in favor of passing the bill, saying cameras keep parents safe.
“Most of the time, especially if you have children with autism, those children are non-verbal,” explained Causey. “Cameras transmit the facts.”
Causey, who also served as a consultant for the Louisiana Department of Education, says she heard horror stories about children with disabilities being abused in the classroom.
“The parents not only suspected but were certain that there had been some negative incidents, so this definitely happened,” said Causey.
Causey says Families Working for Families will continue to push lawmakers for funding to help districts implement the new law.
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