Law

New law promotes cameras in special education classrooms

We’re learning more about a law that could mandate classroom cameras for special needs kids. The Louisiana Developmental Disability Council is meeting soon to discuss expanding this current law.

ACT 456 became law following the 2021 session, ruling schools must create policies on cameras in special education classrooms at the request of a parent.

One parent tells KATC this can be a game-changer for special needs kids who can’t speak up for themselves.

“It’s a safety blanket to know that if something were to happen we would have a way to figure out what actually happened.”

Stephanie Krielow understands the importance of cameras in the classroom as an educator and a parent. Her 12-year-old son Jonah, who has autism, is verbal, but communication skills go away when he becomes overwhelmed.

“After a trauma, he’s unable to say what happened so it would be really nice to request a review of what went on in the classroom that day, not only to see what happened but also to see what the trigger may have been to maybe avoid that kind of behavior in the future,” said Krielow.

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Senator Franklin Foil out of Baton Rouge authored the bill. He says as the law stands, the ball is in the court of school districts to add the cameras to classrooms.

He says it also allows for school districts to have multiple avenues to get funding.

“We did not appropriate state funding because there was no direct state funding available, but we put in the act, that you can use federal money, state money, local money, or even private money through foundations, and so forth,” said Senator Franklin Foil.

Foil along with Krielow is hoping the act will be adopted in school districts throughout the state.

“We need to protect those who can’t protect themselves,” Krielow added.

The Louisiana Developmental Disability Council will meet on October 21st to meet about potential legislation ahead of next year’s legislative session.

Written by Eman Boyd

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