Video Surveillance of Special Education Settings

  • Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, in accordance with Senate Bill 507 from the Texas 84th Legislative Session (2015) now Texas Education Code (TEC) §29.022, a Parent, Trustee, or Staff Member may request that Video Equipment with audio capability be installed in a Self-Contained Classroom or other Special Education Setting such that all areas excluding the bathroom and student changing areas are observable. The sole purpose of the recording equipment is to promote the safety of students receiving special education services and the recordings may not be used for any other purpose. Below is further information about:

    1. Who can request equipment be installed?
    2. What is a Self-Contained Classroom?
    3. What is an Other Special Education Setting?
    4. What is Video Equipment?
    5. How do I request equipment installation for my child’s classroom?
    6. What happens after the District receives a request to install equipment?
    7. How long does it take for the equipment to be installed?
    8. Why did I receive a letter about my student’s classroom receiving video equipment?
    9. How and how long are recordings maintained by the District?
    10. Who can view the recordings?
    11. What is an Incident?
    12. What if I disagree with the District?

     

    Who can request equipment be installed?

    A parent, trustee, or staff member may request equipment be installed. (TEC §29.022(a)). However, the Texas Commissioner of Education has given specific definitions for each of these.

    Parent – a person standing in parental relationship to a student that receives special education and related services for at least 50 percent of the instruction day in the self-contained classroom or other special education setting. Parent also means a student who receives special education and related services for at least 50 percent of the instructional day in the self-contained classroom or other special education setting and who is 18 years of age or older or whose disabilities of minority have been removed for general purposes unless the student has been determined to be in competent or the student’s rights have been otherwise restricted by a court order. (Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §103.1301(b)(1)).

    Trustee – a member of a school district’s board of trustees or a member of an open-enrollment charter school’s governing body. (TAC §103.1301(b)(3)).

    Staff Member – a teacher, related service provider, paraprofessional, or educational aide assigned to work in the self-contained classroom or other special education setting. Staff member also includes principal or an assistant principal of the campus at which the self-contained classroom or other special education setting is located. (TAC §103.1301(b)(2)).

     

    What is a Self-Contained Classroom?

    A self-contained classroom is a classroom on a regular school campus (i.e., a campus that serves students in general education and students in special education) of a school district or an open enrollment charter school in which a majority of the students in regular attendance are provided special education and related services and have one of the following instructional arrangements/settings described in the student attendance accounting handbook adopted under §129.1025 of this title (relating to Adoption by Reference: Student Attendance Accounting Handbook): 

    (A) Self-contained (mild/moderate/severe) regular campus;
    (B) Full-time early childhood (preschedule program for children with disabilities) special education setting;
    (C) Residential care and treatment facility – self-contained (mild/moderate/severe) regular campus;
    (D) Residential care and treatment facility – full-time early childhood special education setting;
    (E) Off home campus – self-contained (mild/moderate/severe) regular campus; or
    (F) Off home campus –full-time early childhood special education setting. (TAC §103.1301(b)(5).

     

    What is an Other Special Education Setting?

    A classroom on a separate campus (i.e., a campus that serves only students who receive special education and related services) of a school district or open enrollment charter school in which a majority of the students in regular attendance are provided special education and related services and have one of the following instructional arrangements/settings described in the student attendance accounting handbook adopted under §129.1025 of this title:

    (A) Residential care and treatment facility – separate campus; or
    (B) Off home campus – separate campus. (TAC §103.1301(b)(6).

     

    What is Video Equipment?

    Video equipment means one or more video cameras and any technology and equipment needed to place, operate, and maintain video cameras as required by TEC §29.022, and this section. Video equipment also means any technology and equipment needed to store and access video recordings as required by TEC §29.022, and this section.

     

    How do I request equipment installation for my child’s classroom?

    The District offers several ways for parents, trustees, and staff members to request installation of video recording equipment.

    1. You can access the online form. Once all required fields are completed and the form submitted, notification is automatically sent to the Director of Special Education.
    2. You can download the Request for Installation of Video and Audio Recording Equipment from this website. Once complete, hand deliver the form to the Director of Special Education at the Irving ISD administration building located at 2621 W. Airport Freeway, Irving, Texas 75062.
    3. You can visit the Irving ISD administration building and receive a hard copy of the form there. Again, return the completed for to the Director of Special Education at the Irving ISD administration building.

     

    What happens after the District receives a request to install equipment?

    Once the district receives the Request, the Director of Special Education will verify the information provided, confirm the covered classroom is either a self-contained classroom or other special education setting, notify campus staff and parents of students in the affected classroom of the impending installation, and then request the equipment be installed by a third party vendor.

     

    How long does it take for the equipment to be installed?

    Installation can take as little as two weeks, but also as long as a month depending on the response time from the District’s third party vendor.
    Why did I receive a letter about my student’s classroom receiving video equipment?
    Under TEC §29.022(d) before a video camera is placed in a classroom or other special education setting under this law, written notice of the installation must be provided to all parents of students receiving special education services in the affected classroom or setting. Further, the notification means a request for installation has been received by the district. It does not mean a specific incident has occurred.

     

    How and how long are recordings maintained by the District?

    Recordings are maintained by the District for six months from the date of recording. Irving ISD has staff specifically trained to maintain video recordings for future review upon request. Regular or continual monitoring of these recordings is prohibited.

     

    Who can view the recordings?

    Recordings made under this law are confidential. However, the District shall release a recording for viewing only to the following:

    1. A school district employee or a parent or guardian of a student who is involved in an incident documented by the recording for which a complaint has been reported to the district, on request of the employee, parent, or guardian, respectively;
    2. Appropriate Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) personnel as part of an investigation under Section 261.406. of the Texas Family Code;
    3. A peace officer, a school nurse, a district administrator trained in de-escalation and restraint techniques as provided by commissioner rule or a human resources staff member designated by the board of trustees of the school district in response to a complaint or an investigation of district or school personnel or a complaint of abuse committed by a student; or
    4. Appropriate agency or State Board of Educator Certification personnel or agents as part of an investigation. (TEC §29.022(i)).
      Nothing in the law or regulations is intended to limit the access of a student’s parent to an educational record of the student under FERPA or other law. (TAC §103.1301(k)).

     

    What is an Incident?

    An incident is an event or circumstance that:

    1. Involves alleged “abuse” or “neglect,” as those terms are described in Texas Family Code, §261.001, of a student by an employee of the school district or charter school or alleged “physical abuse” or “sexual abuse,” as those terms are described in Texas Family Code, §261.410, of a student by another student; and
    2. Allegedly occurred in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting in which video surveillance under TEC, §29.022, and this section is conducted. (TAC 103.1301(b)(9)).

     

    What if I disagree with the District?

    Complaints alleging violations of this law are addressed through the District’s grievance procedures. You can find out more information about those procedures at [website]. The dispute resolutions procedures available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including a Request for Due Process Hearing, do NOT apply. (TAC §103.1301(e)).

     

    Click here to access the request form.

     

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