Legislation promotes video monitoring of special education students

Special education students could have video cameras monitoring their classrooms under legislation that got a hearing in the Georgia Senate Wednesday.

House Bill 614 has already passed the House. There was no vote during Wednesday’s hearing in the Senate Education and Youth committee, where Rep. Valencia Stovall, D-Lake City, the bill’s author, said the bill clarifies that schools can use cameras to monitor special education classrooms, both to protect the students from abuse and the teachers from accusations of abuse.

“The cameras are not Big Brother, but they will serve as an” objective “eye,” she said.

Yvette Pegues, with the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities and a former teacher of the disabled, said the legislation is a good idea. Jane Robbins, an Atlanta-based senior fellow with the American Principles Project, a Washington, D.C. think tank, asked that parents approve the monitoring of their kids and that the videos be destroyed after a period of time.

“I just don’t think it should be in the record forever,” she said.

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