TX State House: Video Cameras in Special Education Classrooms
  • Petitioned Texas State Legislature

This petition was delivered to:

Texas State Legislature

TX State House: Video Cameras in Special Education Classrooms

    1. Maranda Collins Marvin
    2. Petition by

      Maranda Collins Marvin

      Houston, United States

Special Education Student Abuse

The comment sections under news articles reporting on abuse against special education students reveal how people in our society honestly feel about this issue. Some people adamantly reject the idea of placing video cameras in special education classrooms as an additional safety measure. People are concerned about the privacy rights of teachers and students. People feel there is already too much money given to special education programs. And some people believe no assistance should be given to individuals that will never be productive citizens in society.

 

This Has Nothing To Do With ME

This issue is not about privacy, nor is it about more money being spent, nor is it about "some" special education students that will never be productive citizens. This issue is about how we as a society treat those that are unable to protect themselves.That is what is at the heart of this issue. Moreover, where one stands on this issue, is exactly why our society is as it is and will continue to be this way.

These issues may not be “your” problem at this time, but parents of special education students are productive citizens in society that have all the same concerns as other parents. Parents want the best for their children. Parents do their best to juggle family, work, and life the best way they can. Parents desire to see their children as an extension of their hard-working efforts in years to come. Parents of children with special needs rely on educational support as much as parents of children without special needs. Parents of children with special needs contribute as much to the community and government as parents of children without special needs. In addition, just like other parents, these parents want their children protected. 

 

Breeding Ground for Abuse

Special education classrooms are a breeding ground for abuse. Many children in special education classrooms have developmental disorders that disable their cognitive abilities to effectively express themselves verbally. Many children in these classrooms are unable to communicate, meaning they are unable to answer questions such as, "How was school today?" One parent described it like this:

"Unlike typical children, autistic children don't realize they are being abused. They may think "this is what school is supposed to be like". Also, many special needs kids are nonverbal. So even if they knew things were not right, they may be unable to tell parents or authorities that they are being abused. This empowers those very few hateful teachers who are isolated from responsibility and accountability by their protective administration system". - Joe Lippeatt (Houston, Texas)

Special education teachers and the students they teach are the most vulnerable populations on every public school campus. Yet there is very little accountability and oversight within the special education classroom in regards to safety and prevention. Many parents are not called until days later about incidents involving their child. School administrators are more concerned with ensuring their special education teachers "trust" them, than they are for the safety and protection of the special education students in the classrooms. An administrator in Aldine ISD, Texas put it like this, "It is hard to find special education teachers and putting video cameras in the classroom will make the teacher feel as if we don't trust them". It is because of attitudes like this that some teachers accused of abusing a child are not fired, but simply transferred to another school. Some teachers accused of using aversive disciplinary methods are allowed to keep their jobs. Hot Sauce On Crayons?

One reason abuse may occur in a special education setting is because of a perceived lack of oversight. This lack of oversight lends to the mind-frame "I will not be caught in the act". What other reason would allow the mind of someone to think it is "ok" to soak cotton balls in vinegar and shove them in a student's mouth as a form of discipline? Would any parent stand for this? Not a parent that cares for the safety and well-being of their children. And that is why parents across the United States are requesting video cameras in public school special education classrooms: A Grassroots Movement Is Stirring!

 

This is a matter of the heart

Imagine the hearts of parents that have - noticed bruises on their child’s body - found out that their child's hair was ripped out and then the child was closed in a filing cabinet - made to eat hot sauce covered crayons - had water sprayed into their face at point blank range - slapped, pushed, & beaten - made to sit in a closet/store room for extended periods of time without food or water. Here Is A Recent & Related News Report.

These children are innocent and their parents are functioning members of this society. These children deserve protection just as much as any child in our society. As a society, are we really arguing over whether or not to implement better safety measures that will protect innocent children from aversive disciplinary methods?

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Section 26.009 of the Texas Education Code expressly allows the videotaping of students without parental approval for the purpose of child safety.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.26.htm

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Roberts v. Houston ISD (1990)

There have been a limited amount of court cases involving video cameras in the public school setting but here in Texas we have had Roberts v. Houston ISD (1990). The decision in this case found that the video surveillance of teaching in a public school classroom is an activity that is legally permissible because teaching is an activity that does not fall within the expected zone of privacy.

http://tx.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19900315_0040372.TX.htm/qx

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Recent signatures

    News

    1. Watch the hearing for SB1380 starting at 44:45 minutes!

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      "This is the whole committee hearing from beginning to end. SB 1380 starts at 44:45 minutes, if you want to fast forward to it. Thanks for all the support! Also, I had a conference call earlier that explained that "Senetor Dan Patrick" is amending the bill in hopes of the Committee getting on board with this bill. It's a few changes that are easy to let go of in order to have these cameras in place at our schools all over this great state of Texas by the begining of this new school year (September 2013/2014)". - by David Penny of Protecting Our Children

      Texas House of Representatives : Video / Audio Player

      Website for the Texas House of Representatives. Provides information on legislation, committees, Texas house, and session.

    2. Another reason...

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      Greg Groogan interviews a mother from Huntsville, Texas!

      Video Landing Page - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

      Houston weather, traffic, and news 24/7 from FOX 26 News - Your Gulf Coast Weather Authority.

    3. TEXAS would be the FIRST in the United States...

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      If this bill is passed, TEXAS would be the first state in the country to provide more protection to the most vulnerable population within a public school setting! This is a matter of safety & security for a population that many times cannot speak for themselves AND for their teachers.

      Texas considers requiring cameras in special ed classes

      DALLAS - For seven years, Breggett Rideau has pleaded for cameras in the classroom to protect special education students. Her son, Terrence Rideau, can't walk, can't talk and can neither feed nor clothe himself... but he looks forward to horse therapy, which is designed to build his strength and balance.

    4. Breaking NEWS from Fox 26 about SB1380

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      SB1380 mandating cameras in Texas Special Needs Classrooms has been set for a critical hearing before the House Public Education Commitee next Tuesday May 7th in Austin.

    5. Please call or email Rep Jimmie Don Aycock!

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      We NEED SB1380 to be placed on the House Public Education Committee agenda for a hearing! PLEASE call Representative Jimmy Don Aycock's office and request that SB1380 be placed on the agenda for a hearing. His office phone number is: (512) 463-0684 or if you prefer to email, click the link below. We NEED this bill to be placed on the agenda, so we NEED everyone to call and convey this to him. Let's do this!

      Texas House of Representatives : E-Mail Rep. Aycock, Jimmie Don

      Website for the Texas House of Representatives. Provides information on legislation, committees, Texas house, and session.

    6. Call a member or two! It will only take a few minutes.

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      PLEASE call a member or two of the Texas Public Education Committee and ask them to please support Senate Bill 1380. Please take a few minutes and call one or two of the committee members and express your concerns about this issue. 

      You can either email the representative through their website or you can call the 512 phone number listed within their website, then ask to speak to the legislative aid. If you choose to email, please ensure you insert Senate Bill 1380 in your subject line. 
      EVERY voice is needed to convey to these representatives how important this issue is. THANK YOU for YOUR voice!

      Texas House of Representatives : House Committee - Public Education

      Website for the Texas House of Representatives. Provides information on legislation, committees, Texas house, and session.

    7. Reached 1,000 signatures
    8. Please contact the House Public Education Committee Members

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      Our new focus is now on the Texas House Public Education Committee! Louis Geigerman, professional special education advocate, advised us to: "Begin contacting all of the members of the House Public Education Committee making them aware of this bill and request their support".

      Texas House of Representatives : House Committee - Public Education

      Website for the Texas House of Representatives. Provides information on legislation, committees, Texas house, and session.

    9. SB 1380 Sails Through the Texas Senate 25-5!

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      GREAT NEWS! Mandatory Cameras in Special Ed. Classrooms SB 1380 sails through the Texas Senate 25-5. Speaking to fellow lawmakers Senator Dan Patrick described the "heartbreaking" testimony of parents whose children were abused. Watch this story and you will witness their emotional plea for action.
      http://www.myfoxhouston.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=8722708

      Video Landing Page - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

      Houston weather, traffic, and news 24/7 from FOX 26 News - Your Gulf Coast Weather Authority.

    10. Senate Bill 1380 - Seeking to "Protect the Vulnerable"

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT relating to the placement of video monitoring cameras in self-contained classrooms providing special education services.

      http://www.myfoxhouston.com/video?clipId=8576851&autostart=true

      Video Landing Page - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

      Houston weather, traffic, and news 24/7 from FOX 26 News - Your Gulf Coast Weather Authority.

    11. Reached 750 signatures
    12. Equipping Your Child

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      As the school year begins, many concerned parents are equipping their children with devices that will record what goes on in their classrooms. If you need direction on how to obtain one of these devices, please email me.

    13. Reached 500 signatures
    14. Autistic Girl Put in Filing Cabinet & Her Hair Ripped Out

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      This is horrible and absolutely unacceptable! I wonder sometimes do these people forget that they have family members too that could be hurt. I do not think those thoughts flow through their mind when they are inflicting abuse on other people's children.

    15. Meeting With Superintendent

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      June 6, 2012, I met with the superintendent and director of special education for my daughter's school district. I used a Power Point presentation to bring them up-to-speed on the reason for our request for change. If you would like a copy of my Power Point presentation, contact me. (***NOTE: If you would like for me to present this information to your school board/district, within 300 miles of Houston, contact me.)

      I will email the happenings of the meeting to all petition signers. Contact me if you do to receive an email about the meeting.

    16. Payback: Kids vs. Teachers

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      Parents and caregivers (and children) will take matters into their own hands, one way or another. Video cameras will decrease future allegations and complaints. Video cameras will deter abuse. Video cameras should be required in all special needs classrooms for the protection of the teachers and the students.

    17. A UNITED front!

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      I am happy to announce the UNITED front has begun for our cause! We now have driven people in Ohio, Florida, West Virginia, and North Carolina petitioning for the same request in their own states and we are all supporting one another. We are doing this good people and we are doing it together! We will continue to seek other individuals in other states driven for the same cause.

      If you live in one of these states and are not yet in contact with these individuals, email me and I will get you in contact with them. Thank you for ALL you are doing!

    18. Superintendent's Office Call Back Today

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      After three weeks, the superintendent's secretary for my school district called me today to set up an appointment. The superintendent and the special education director want to sit down and talk about this issue. The appointment is set for June 6. I will keep you updated on the outcome. Please continue to contact your school board/district about this issue. They have the power to grant our request. If you need a model letter to email to your school board, please email me and I will send one to you.

    19. Model Letters To Your School Board & State Reps.

      Maranda Collins Marvin
      Petition Organizer

      Please write your school board about your concerns. We need to ensure that the school boards, as well as our state representatives, are aware and informed about our request for the installation of cameras in all special needs classrooms. Email me for a Model Letter To Your School Board. & for a Model Letter to Your State Representatives.

      If you need assistance in obtaining the email addresses for your superintendent, assistant superintendent, and the executive director of special education within your school district, let me know and I will happily get them for you. If you are unaware of who your state representatives are, let me know. I will get that information for you. And lastly, if you need assistance with your letters, let me know.

      If you have any questions or concerns, please email me through my Change.org profile email account .
      The more we push, the more we are heard!

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Simona Gullen ROCHESTER HILLS, MI
      • 10 months ago

      I would like to see this type of legislation go national. I have a daughter with special needs who can not verbalize well and is at risk.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tori Tollison SPOKANE, WA
      • 10 months ago

      My son is disabled and all children deserve to be safe. We lock up child molesters and parents who abuse with proof, why not teachers?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • David werley HUTSONVILLE, IL
      • about 1 year ago

      i have a son with cp

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Crystal Littlejohn ROBINSON, IL
      • about 1 year ago

      I also have a child that has special needs, I want to take this time to try and help any parent in anyway possible.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • cristal mendoza VISALIA, CA
      • about 1 year ago

      My brother has Down Syndrome. he whole United states should pass this every town, city should have cameras for special needs children and adults.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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