Friday, August 5, 2016

Looks like summer is winding down for students and teachers. I know you are already at your desk, in your schools, and are attending those pesky administrative retreats and meetings. Many of you are trying to complete last minute hires, changes in schedules, and all the other miscellaneous items that come from being a principal.
Now, you also need to prepare your teachers for the fallout of SB 507. You know, that requirement to place video cameras in classrooms that serve 50% or more special education students when requested
by a parent. Well, the final rules have just now been released. Here are the changes to rule that you might be particularly be interested in:

  • Modifications were made to the definitions of “parent” and “staff member” to clarify that a request for video surveillance must be made by the parent of a child in the classroom or a staff member who is assigned to the classroom that is the subject of the request.
  • Incident now means an “event or circumstance that involved alleged ‘abuse’ or ‘neglect’ ... of a student by an employee of the school district or charter school or alleged ‘physical abuse’ or ‘sexual abuse’ ... of a student by another student; and allegedly occurred in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting in which video surveillance ... is conducted.”
  • An amendment was made to clarify that video surveillance applies during the regular school year and during extended school year services.
  • A person who views a video recording and has cause to believe that the recording documents possible abuse or neglect of a child must submit a report to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or other authority.
  • A school district employee who is the subject of a disciplinary action has the right to request the recording believed to document a possible violation. A school district must provide the recording for viewing.
  • The final rules are effective August 15, 2016. A request for an opinion from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton regarding SB 507 remains pending and could lead to rule changes in the future. - wording by Texas Association of School Administrators
For the complete rules, visit:  See the final rules.
As always, check with TEPSA if you have questions that arise over SB 507.