Texas Schools to Install Security Cameras in Special Needs Classrooms

A new law in Texas requires certain classrooms to have surveillance cameras installed to improve staff and student safety.

A recently signed law will require Texas schools to install security cameras in certain classrooms to protect teachers and students.

Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 507 into law on June 19, which mandates that public and open-enrollment charter schools install cameras in self-contained classrooms for special needs children in an effort to protect students and teachers in the event of any altercations, KGNS.tv reports.

The new law requires that the cameras cover the entire classroom, except areas where students might be changing or the restrooms.

Schools will be required to keep video footage of daily activities for up to a year.

Districts will not receive federal funding to install the cameras; rather, the text of the bill gives school districts permission to seek donations and grants to pay for video surveillance upgrades, KGNS.tv reports.

The Laredo Independent School District estimates that it will cost $200,000 to $300,000 to deploy security cameras in 60 classrooms that fall under the new law. The United Independent School District will have to install cameras in 94 classrooms.

Both districts are holding meetings to find funding for this new mandate.

The new law will take effect in 2016. Schools are required to notify parents of the new policy prior to the use of the cameras.

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