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Why Special Education Classrooms Need Cameras

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I woke from a terrible dream this morning. In my dream, I had watched someone hit my child. She hit him and pushed him sideways for throwing the ball over the fence. I was appalled. I was so angry. I stood there frozen, helpless to do anything.

Yes, it was a dream. But it has been the truth for many families. And in my family.

I have been told my son was dragged down the hallway by an aide. He was in the second grade, just a tiny little guy who was clearly telling them “Something is wrong.” He didn’t act that way to be trouble. He didn’t act that way to cause a scene. He was overwhelmed, exhausted, had sensory overload issues and needed help. He did not need to be dragged down the hall. He needed kindness and compassion. He needed help. 

My dream is timely. Next week a bill will go to the Maryland House of Delegates on cameras in all self-contained special education classrooms. In many schools, there are cameras in the hallways for safety and security. But sadly, they are missing from the special education classrooms, one of the biggest areas where discipline and behaviors tend to happen.

Don’t let them tell you it’s a cost issue — it’s only $400 for an extra camera.

Don’t let them tell you it’s about the teachers being uncomfortable — cameras will protect them as well.

Don’t let them tell you it’s always the adults abusing kids — sometimes it’s other students.

Enough horrible videos on Facebook.

Enough heartbreaking videos of bruised children.

Please support us here in Maryland next week.

Please start the movement in your state!

Please be the voice for a child that struggles to speak.

Getty image by Vyacheslav Petelin.

Originally published: February 19, 2020
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