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Indiana Statehouse

Source: (Photo: Abdul-Hakim Shabazz/WIBC)

STATEHOUSE — State lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that would require school districts to place security cameras in their special education classrooms.

You may have heard about the case of abuse of a special education student within Brownsburg schools from last year in which a teacher and a teacher’s aide were fired. Those school employees were caught because of security cameras that were in the special ed classrooms.

A bill written by State Rep Beck Cash (R-Zionsville) would make those cameras a requirement in public schools.

“This legislation is about protecting our most vulnerable students and their teachers,” Cash said on the Indiana House floor. “By putting cameras in our seclusion classrooms and classrooms with our most severely disabled children, we have an opportunity to join multiple other states that have been proactive.”

Cash’s bill also has a provision that all of this is subject to funding, which would have to be figured out next year when the legislature convenes to put together the state’s next spending plan. That is what has Democrats hung up about the bill.

“I think it’s a very good idea. It’s a very important subject,” said State Rep. Ed Delaney (D-Indianapolis). “If we are going to put the money off to next year, we ought to put the details of the bill off to next year.”

Other Democrats mirrored Delaney’s concerns saying that it’s not good policy to pass requirements while not knowing how much they will cost.

Furthermore, they also raised concerns about privacy since some parents may not consent to their child being recorded, especially if they are a non-special ed student.

Republicans were undeterred by the skepticism of their colleagues, saying that the overall purpose of the bill is solid enough to act now on it.

“The schools, at least that I have dealt with, like it because it protects teachers. The parents like it because it protects kids. So I’m failing to see what the issue is,” added State Rep. Craig Haggard (R-Mooresville) who help write the bill.

Cash also quelled privacy concerns saying that security cameras are already everywhere at schools these days such as hallways and parking lots.

The bill ultimately passed and will now be considered by the State Senate.