Arkansas lawmaker sponsors bill to put cameras in special education classrooms

An Arkansas lawmaker is sponsoring a bill to put cameras in special needs classrooms

An Arkansas state representative is sponsoring a bill to put video cameras in special education classrooms.

The bill says cameras would only be required in "self-contained classrooms upon request," meaning it would have to be at the request of a parent, legal guardian or faculty member.

State Rep. James Sorvillo, R-Little Rock, is sponsoring the bill. He says the idea for the bill came after a special needs student in his district was abused by a school employee.

"I felt like there was a need to protect our children," he said.

Sorvillo said the bill aims to protect educators from abusive situations, as well.

"We want to provide that option if there is a feeling of something not being right in the classroom," he said. "We think this gives the nonverbal child a voice."

Under the bill, funding for the cameras would come from the school districts that requests one.

Sorvillo said student privacy would not be at risk. He said he wasn't concerned about possible violations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

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