Campaigners rejoice as Texas introduce cameras in special needs classes

Campaigners are celebrating a victory in ensuring the protection of special needs students in Texas schools through the introduction of CCTV.

Since June, schools in Texas have been able to install cameras to protect students. Senate Bill 507 was created following the alleged rape of a student with autism, for which a prosecution was not able to be brought due to lack of evidence.

Dr Diana Otero is Executive Director of Special Education at YISD. “There have been concerns in the past from other districts, that probably prompted the need for this (law),” she said. “And I say we have great teachers, I don’t see a problem with any of that. I see it as another layer of safety that parents feel they need.”

Tara Heidinger runs the Cameras In Special Needs Classrooms campaign. “Texas families, advocates, and more stuck together, shared their testimonies, and let their voices be heard all the way to state house,” she said. “Texas families, advocates, and more have been fighting for cameras in special needs classrooms at least 4-5 years now.
With everyone sticking together and never giving up, they passed the Bill this session to have cameras in special needs classrooms in the State of Texas. Georgia state has a Bill currently and more states in the USA are fighting for Bills. Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, and more are also getting involved for Cameras In Special Needs Classrooms.

The Facebook Page for Cameras In Special Needs Classrooms is: http://www.facebook.com/CamerasInSpecialNeedsClassrooms

CCTV campaign hopes to end child abuse

An Ohio mum is set to take on schools in the United Kingdom who abuse children in their care. Tara Heidinger is campaigning for CCTV in schools to protect children with special educational needs from abusive educational staff.

As Heidinger explains, the campaign started from her own experience with how her son was treated by others. “I started this awareness because my son Corey was possibly abused by his teachers aide,” she said. “The children said she hit him in the arm, then grabbed his arm tightly as he cried. Yanking his arm face to face with her as she screamed in his face ‘Stop Crying Now’. The school said that the children made up story and that the bruises on his arm were not from school.”

Heidinger said she is not alone in having a son abused by education authorities. “I shared this story with my Dealing With Autism Group on Facebook and many many parents said their child was abused or possibly abused that they had unexplained marks and bruises and is non verbal,” she said. “This is why I felt cameras are needed in these classrooms. This will help Staff against false accusations, this will help the children have a voice in school, helps with wandering kids, theft, crime. Also will be a great teaching tool. There are many different disabilities out there.

In the last year the calls for cameras to be placed or around public service users have increased. In Pontypridd, Wales, police officers from South Wales Police have been fitted with cameras, and calls have been made for hospital staff to be fitted with wearable CCTV following a number of allegations of abuse against patients in Royal Glamorgan Hospital, which is near Pontypridd.

Jonathan Bishop, an e-learning expert, based in Wales, was a victim of such abuse when a child. He said he thinks Heidinger’s idea would be good for pupils. “CCTV is pretty much everywhere in the UK,” he said. “Having them in schools, as they have at the one I am a governor at, only in all rooms, could aid the safety of pupils and staff, and also, aid the children in learning about how CCTV can keep people safe and its role in detecting and preventing crime.

The group, “United Kingdom Put Cameras in Special Needs Classrooms” can be accessed on Facebook at the following link:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Kingdom-Put-Cameras-In-Special-Needs-Classrooms/325018107616481