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Florida House Bill would allow for cameras in classrooms

Posted at 12:27 AM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 00:28:03-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A new bill that would allow school districts to put cameras in classrooms is making waves. House Bill 1055 in the Florida House would also require teachers to wear microphones.

The bills sponsors, Representatives Bob Rommel and Mike Beltran said it will add another piece of protection. The program would be optional for school districts and only be used to investigate altercations.

"I think that we should be able to have objective evidence," said Rep. Beltran. "If a teacher has a problem, it should be able to show objective evidence for what happens. Especially when we're protecting our kids. They're our most vulnerable citizens. Sometime kids may be good witnesses, sometime they may not be the best witness but it's good to have a video when someone's been falsely accused."

However, if an incident occurs, parents would have access to the videos within one week.

But critics say the extra layer of scrutiny could drive teachers away from an already short staffed profession.

There's all kinds of things that make video inconclusive," said David Freeland, President of the Education Association of St. Lucie. "It's not that magic bullet to solve all of these incidents anyway. And again, we haven't had... We've been able to deal with our issues without the cameras, effectively, so I think they would cause far more problems than they would solve."

The 60-day session ends March 11.