Our friend Leslie Phillips of National Autism Association
asks an excellent question in this important back to school article: "You have to ask yourself, why don't they want them? Why don't they
want us to see what's happening in the classrooms," said Leslie
Phillips, mother of an autistic son and board member of the National
Autism Association.Phillips says Texas school districts have no credible excuse for prohibiting cameras."It's
like throwing kerosene on a fire and expecting it not to burn. If you
put poorly trained teachers and aides in these classrooms with children
who have these challenges and nobody to watch out for them," said
My daughter's abuser was caught, arrested and convicted because of cameras on her school bus. I'm all for cameras in schools. KS
HOUSTON (FOX 26) -
In a world where every child needs protection, Hailey Penny will always need more than most.
She trusts everyone, without condition, especially her parents and her teachers.
But by fall 2010, the once perpetually cheerful 10-year-old had spent months fearful and deeply withdrawn.
were at our wits end. We were literally racking our brains, in tears
wondering, what's going on with our child, you know?" recalled David
Penny, Hailey's father.
an afternoon the Pennys will never forget, the "cause" came home on the
body of their disabled child in the form of scrapes and heavy bruising.
They were injuries, an investigation quickly confirmed, that were
inflicted by a teacher's aide in Hailey's New Caney ISD Special Needs
"It hurt me," Hailey said before hiding her face in her hands.
I was to put bruises and marks on my child like that or any child for
that matter, they would put me in jail. I would be in jail for child
abuse! How are they any different?" asked David.
in this case, the teacher's aide who hurt Hailey walked away.
Montgomery County prosecutors claim they lacked evidence to convince a
grand jury, the kind of proof that could have come from a surveillance
camera if the classroom had just had one.
need to be in the classrooms where the children can't defend
themselves, in classrooms where a child is not able to come home and say
'Mommy, Daddy, so and so is hurting me'," said David Penny.
26 has learned the same aide was reprimanded for mistreating Hailey and
other disabled students just five months before, and yet New Caney ISD
failed to tell the Pennys of the alleged abuse or to install
surveillance to insure it didn't happen again.
mistreatment is hardly isolated. Over the past year, FOX 26 has
uncovered a half dozen cases in the Houston area alone in which disabled
kids, isolated in self-contained public school classrooms have been
persecuted or preyed upon by the very people who are supposed to protect
In Fort Bend ISD, a
nine-year-old autistic student was repeatedly imprisoned in a closed
filing cabinet by her special-ed teacher.
same, now former educator at Juan Seguin Elementary stands accused of
kicking, striking and verbally abusing other disabled kids.
The classroom had no camera.
Read more: http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/19325960/2012/08/20/can-cameras-protect-special-needs-kids-from-abuse#ixzz24DyMBRuF