Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cameras in Classrooms

I'm wondering.....

I'm wondering about video cameras being placed in special education classrooms to record the actions of teachers, assistants, therapists and students. Some members of my community are calling for cameras to be placed in all special education classrooms.

I'm wondering about cameras in classrooms because, to me, there are various shades of gray. I'm wondering about about cameras in classrooms because I empathize with the parent whose child may have been harmed by a teacher while at school. I'm wondering about cameras in classrooms because I understand the concern of teachers in the classrooms who are dismayed by the fact that every moment of every day would be recorded.

The following are some of the "wonders" or the questions that I believe impact this issue...

~I wonder how parents of a child who is non-verbal trust a teacher to care for their child 7.5 hours every day?
~I wonder if cameras are in classrooms, who is allowed access to the recordings?
~I wonder if parents/families are given access to recordings, how does that impact the confidentiality of other students' education?
~I wonder, if parents/families are not given access, only supervisors/administrators are given access, will parents/families trust the school system any more?
~I wonder if talented special education teachers will choose to leave an already stressful field because of an all day camera or a perception of "Big Brother?"
~I wonder if after the cameras are there and "forgotten about" will it make a difference to the many ethical and talented special education teachers out there?
~I wonder what services would be cut or what additional taxes would be necessary to fund cameras in the classroom?

But most of all.....I wonder, would cameras in the classroom have a widespread, positive effect on special education services to CHILDREN?

It seems to me, that the ultimate goal of placing cameras in the classroom is to increase accountability of teachers of children who may not be able to verbally or physically defend themselves while simultaneously increasing the safety of those children. However, there are several emotional issues on the sidelines: trust, professionalism, ethical practice, confidentiality.

I wonder what you think?

No comments: