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TEA Seeks Expedited AG Opinion on Cameras in Special Education Classroom

Commissioner Morath sent a request to the Attorney General asking for clarification on certain matters in recently passed legislation requiring cameras in some special education classrooms.

The four questions presented by the commissioner:

  1. Can section 29.022(a) reasonably be construed to mean that a request for video surveillance only requires that video surveillance be conducted in one self-contained instructional setting?

  2. If your response to question 1 is "no," can the statute reasonably be construed to allow a requestor to limit his or her request for video surveillance to one or more specific instructional settings? For example, if a parent's request reflects that the parent only wants video surveillance in his or her child's classroom, would it be permissible for the school district or charter school to only place and operate video cameras in that specific classroom?

  3. Can the term "staff member" in section 29.022 reasonably be construed to mean only a campus employee who is assigned to a self-contained instructional setting described in the statute and certain campus employees with supervisory authority, such as a principal and assistant principal?

  4. Can section 29.022(b) reasonably be construed to allow a school district or charter school to discontinue video surveillance in a self-contained instructional setting if the circumstances surrounding the request have changed substantially (e.g., the student whose parent requested video surveillance is no longer assigned to the classroom or has left the campus or district, the teacher who requested video surveillance is no longer assigned to the classroom, the term of office of the trustee who requested video surveillance has ended, etc.)?

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