Eva-Marie Ayala at Dallas Morning News:
Dallas ISD will be among the first major school districts in the nation to require cameras in all special education classrooms to ensure student safety.
Children who don’t have the ability to speak because of severe disabilities can’t explain to parents or teachers what happened if they are hurt at school. That makes it difficult to determine if an injury was an accident or intentional or if anyone else was involved.
Now DISD trustees have decided to install cameras to help school officials find out what happened in a classroom should an incident arise.
The school board on Thursday voted 7-2 to require the video recording. The move was over the objections of Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, who noted officials could not find another district in Texas or nationally that uses cameras in all special education settings.
Zahra Darwish praised DISD’s move, saying cameras in her daughter’s classroom have brought her peace of mind.
She requested them at Woodrow Wilson High School in 2017 because she was concerned that a new staffer didn’t know how to interact with autistic students. Her daughter Hanaa would come home crying and trying to hurt herself, but couldn’t explain why because she doesn’t speak, Darwish said.
Soon after the recording was in place, the employee moved on and was replaced by one with more experience in working with non-verbal students.