In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the civil rights of people with autism and other disabilities.
Dallas ISD trustees are talking about some potential changes that could affect hundreds of special education classrooms in the district.
It's a new proposal presented this month by trustee Dustin Marshall of District 2 in the north Dallas area.
Right now, state law requires cameras to be installed only of a parent, teacher or staff member requests it.
This DISD proposal would just outright require it in all special education classrooms.
Marshall said installing cameras district-wide would help protect the most vulnerable kids in DISD and even protect teachers if they are falsely accused of wrongdoing.
"These are really our most vulnerable children. Many of them have autism, down syndrome -- most of them are nonverbal. So if there was an incident in their classroom, the kids can't speak up for themselves and can't report it," he explained. "And from time to time, we do have reports of incidents. Sometimes there's merit to them and sometimes not, and having a camera in classroom provides accountability for the teachers and adults that encounter that child."Others raise privacy concerns.
DISD administrators voiced concerns at the last meeting that cameras in nearly 500 classrooms could be expensive or could even drive teachers away.