New TX law requires cameras in special ed. classrooms

A new Texas law requires cameras in every special education classroom in Texas public schools.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law on Friday.

The cameras are meant to protect students who sometimes are unable to speak or stand up for themselves. The cameras will have to record video and audio.

One mom from Keller says the extra layer of protection for special education students couldn't come soon enough.

The battle that Bregett Rideau has fought for nearly a decade on behalf of her son, Terrence, has ended in victory. She pushed to pass the law.

Rideau says it would have prevented the abuse she claims that Terrance endured from a Keller ISD special education teacher back in 2012.

Keller ISD and CPS investigated, but the questionable teacher was never prosecuted.

Her lawsuit against the district, though, has yet to be resolved.

"You really have to educate your teachers," said Rideau. "You really have to qualify the people who are doing this. The insurance companies don't really want this because they're gonna have to pay out for people who have made mistakes because now they're gonna be seen."

Districts would need to find the funds themselves to install the cameras and monitoring equipment, and therein lies the reason why school districts like Arlington ISD vigorously fought the bill.

"And so for us, it'll be about 93 classrooms that will fall into this category of self-contained classrooms, and that will cost us, we're thinking about $450,000," said Leslie Johnston with Arlington ISD.

Some estimates put the cost for larger school districts at close to $2 million.

"Cameras make people, it makes you do the correct thing because you know you're being watched," said Rideau.


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