Cameras in Special Education

In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed legislation requiring public school districts to place cameras in self-contained special education settings upon request by a parent or district staff member. The law was amended in 2017 after the Texas attorney general gave the original legislation a far more expansive interpretation than the legislature intended.

Many of our members wonder what this new law means for them.

Here are some important provisions:

  • An educator or parent can request a camera in the self-contained placement where they work or where their child receives instruction.
  • The camera should view the entire space, other than restrooms or changing areas, and it must be sound equipped.
  • The district is required to maintain the camera only as long as the requestor or his or her child remains in the setting, or until the requestor withdraws the request.
  • At the end of the school year, if the district intends to remove the camera equipment, notice must be provided to the other parents, who can then make their own request for the cameras to remain.
  • The law provides specific procedural requirements for making or addressing requests and investigating alleged misconduct that may be caught by the cameras.

Click on the the links above to read the full text of the law and learn more about procedural requirements.

Read our blog at TeachTheVote.org for ongoing updates on legislative issues that affect Texas educators.

Not an ATPE member? With ATPE membership, you get access to our top-notch legal team, outstanding benefits and resources, influence at the Capitol, and liability and employment rights defense coverage to protect your career. Join today to become part of the state’s largest and most trusted educator group.

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