Families of special-needs students have been able to request audio/video monitors in their child’s classrooms since a state law went into effect in August.

But, in the Killeen Independent School District, they haven’t been able to get them.

Today, the KISD board of trustees will consider approving a policy to begin the program in certain KISD classrooms.

The district’s board also will consider designating the KISD human resources chief, Steve Cook, as the person to review the video/audio as appropriate.

Many parents and residents were becoming restless with the school district’s delays, and one mother left the last board meeting in tears.

Angela Garvin, the parent disappointed in the last meeting, had said at the time:

“I am asking for approval of the cameras being placed in my child’s special needs classroom. This again is not a proactive approach by this board. I urge you and the board to come to an agreement on this issue.”

Dr. John Craft, the school district’s superintendent, said, “While we can’t address your comments directly, Ms. Garvin, we have placed this item on our agenda to be addressed later in this meeting.”

The board’s policies do not allow for direct responses to public forum comments.

Board member Shelley Wells expressed her desire to simply place the cameras in the five requested classrooms as soon as possible, and if the bill is changed at a later date, to simply adjust their methods at that time.

“Why can’t we simply place the cameras in the self-contained classrooms for the request already? We can surely afford those requests, can’t we?”

Board Member JoAnn Purser also expressed a similar feeling to place the cameras in the requested five classrooms currently approved.

“We are trying to show transparency, and I believe it would be in good faith to oblige the parents who have don’t what we have required to place these cameras in these classrooms.” Purser said.

Deputy Superintendent Desmontes Stewart, said, “There are still six pending requests, and there is no current deadline for when the monitoring systems are installed.”

Board member Susan Jones explained her biggest concern was for how much the enacting of the bill can possibly cost the district nearly $1.75 million if 100 classrooms needed video and audio monitoring.

The board was split about what to do going forward. With members on both sides of the issue, some recommending approval of the previously approved requests, others waiting for more clear direction.

254-501-7568 | quinton@kdhnews.com

(2) comments

UT Fan

@thesarge This is an unfunded mandate by TEA, and the district is working on getting some details worked out on this. Such as making sure that the other parents in the classroom are ok with cameras being in their kids classroom. If they are not, the district has to move kids around. Secondly, the members of school boards are not paid or compensated monetarily as a board member. There are no salaries for board members.


Didn't the State pass a LAW? Since when are the schools above the people who pay them? When my Downes daughter attended there the kids were "monitored" by para-professionals (assistant Teachers) and hardly ever saw the "top floor" qualified teacher. I would think with the possible safety and security liabilities that could be assessed against the school for not taking care of our kids properly they would welcome monitoring (or NOT). I would submit that if sufficient security and safety issues are NOT being addressed immediately this reluctance could prove to be nothing more than a method to cut spending and free more funds up for board salaries. [wink]

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