New law passed in special needs classrooms to take effect soon

New law passed in special needs classrooms to take effect soon

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Several high-profile cases involving allegations of intentional abuse of students with special needs caused a group of committed parent activists to seek new statutory protections at the state level, which caused a new law to be passed.

This new law passed last year in Texas allows for cameras to be installed at a parent's request, but rules and regulations that needed to be adopted were just recently passed on the law.

This fall, at the request of just one parent, special education teachers can now be filmed but school districts are allowed to have certain policies.

"The district will set up their specifics under the rules that they have to include in their policies, but each district will write their own policies as to how they will meet the requirements of the law," DeEtta Culbertson, Texas Education Agency spokesperson said.

Senate Bill 507 requires districts to install audio or video monitoring equipment in any self-contained classroom in which special education services are being provided to at least 50 percent of the students for at least 50 percent of the school day.

Written notice must be given to all school or campus staff and to the parents of the students in the classroom prior to the installation of recording equipment.

Video equipment must be able to record all areas of the classroom or special education setting, except the inside of a bathroom or any area in the classroom in which a student's clothes are changed.

This law will go into effect starting August 15.

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