FREDERICK, Md. - The Frederick County School Board is grappling with a simple, yet complicated question: Should cameras be allowed in some special education classrooms?
The School Board didn’t vote on anything Wednesday night, but indicated they want to further explore a pilot program, giving a directive to staff to keep studying the issue
Only teachers were surveyed as part of a preliminary inquiry.
The board is looking at whether to do a pilot program in just a few classrooms.
Parents who support putting cameras in their non-verbal children’s classrooms feel these cameras are a layer of security.
"My son deserves the same sense of safety and security as his verbal peers do. Let the cameras be his voice," said Dustin Bane.
"Cameras in other spaces are already existent: in cafeterias, hallways, front office, exteriors. Cameras are already there. We need these cameras in these specialized classrooms to tell a story that these children cannot tell," Lori Scott added.
Two years ago, Frederick County Schools announced a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice after finding that the district was improperly using restraints on students with disabilities.
The deputy superintendent told FOX 5 that the district has already implemented changes, and this conversation furthers their goal to be a top-tier program.
Special education teachers were surveyed: One comment said there are too many variables to make them want cameras, and others told administrators it felt like "Big Brother" was watching.
But there were those who felt it could protect teachers, should there be an unfounded allegation of misconduct.
The legal questions are plenty.
In Maryland, there’s no law guiding cameras in classrooms despite bills introduced, but not passed in Annapolis.
"Student confidentiality, employee rights and protections, working with our different associations and the contract and making sure we negotiate it. As you peel this away, there are a lot of complexities that go along with placing cameras in our specialized programs," Deputy Superintendent Mike Markoe said.
It's still incredibly early in this process in Frederick County, but it's a conversation that will continue in the coming months and potentially years.