FREDERICK, Md. (DC News Now) — After a long-awaited discussion, staff of the Frederick County Board of Education did not recommend a pilot program that would put cameras in special education classrooms.
A survey they conducted showed approximately 44.8% of staff opposed the idea of the program.
Wednesday night, during a Board of Education meeting, the staff decided to not recommend the program.
Most of the board members were on the fence about the program, saying there were many pros and cons, including whether there was enough funding and concerns about how the cameras would be used.
“Cameras don’t stop violence. All they do is provide evidence in court, so if you’re looking for things to be prevented, this may not be that route,” said board member Karen Yoho.
Meanwhile, advocates of the program said it would be beneficial for the safety of the students.
“This isn’t an us versus them situation. I’ve been a single father for ten years of a non-verbal autistic child and I know how difficult it can be. Evil does exist. My son deserves the same sense of safety and security as his verbal peers do,” said a Frederick County Public School (FCPS) parent.
The program was introduced after the Department of Justice reached an agreement with FCPS to address the discriminatory use of seclusion and restraint against students with disabilities.
The board hopes to conduct more surveys with additional staff and parents to figure out a solution.