HUNT VALLEY, Md. (TND) — A Florida bill would allow video cameras to be installed in classrooms, and would require teachers in those classrooms to wear microphones.
The bill, proposed by a Republican state representative, prohibits use of the videos for teacher evaluations, “or any purpose other than for ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of students in the classroom.” It also bans “regular, continuous, or continual monitoring” of videos.
A number of parents across the country are pushing for video recordings in classrooms, due to concerns about critical race theory and what children are being taught in school, according to the Washington Examiner. Critics of such proposals say teachers should not be subjected to video surveillance, and that it's an invasion of privacy.
“I think this is some effort to paint educators as constantly saying or doing inappropriate things in class and that they need to be monitored and surveilled every minute of every day which is just nonsense,” Palm Beach CTA President Justin Katz said, according to WPEC News.
State Representative Randy Fine, a Republican, told the outlet he's concerned about parents' rights.
“We have seen that radical leftists have tried to sneak things into our school district that parents don’t agree with,” he said. “I think parents have a right to monitor how the government is educating their children.”
School principals would be in charge of the recordings and cameras. Under the bill, a parent can view a recording in the case of alleged “abuse or neglect” involving their child. In the case of an investigation, the video would be available to the school employee who was involved, in addition to law enforcement and the Department of Children and Families.
Video recordings would be available for at least three months before being deleted. The recordings could be kept longer in the case of a lawsuit.
A recently-passed Florida law already allows cameras in classrooms for children with disabilities. In addition, some states like Texas, West Virginia, and Georgia also allow or require cameras in some classrooms.
Lawmakers have taken other legislative approaches to the issue of critical race theory. According to the Washington Examiner, 26 states last year introduced or passed bills relating to instruction on racial issues in school.