Parents demand cameras in special education classrooms, school leaders say better communication is needed

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 10:27 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Should cameras be installed in special needs classrooms? Some Madison city schools parents think so and they are making sure that’s clear at a Madison City School’s board meeting.

The topic was not on the agenda at the meeting, but parents say it’s time to speak up.

“Texas, West Virginia, Georgia have all made it happen,” said one parent.

Parents say the cameras are especially necessary for the students who are non-verbal and can’t speak for themselves. That’s why before the meeting, a peaceful protest served as their voice.

Parent Kimberly McFadden says, right now, there is no transparency.

“There have been several abuse allegations every year that we have been here. Enough is enough. Our kids need a voice,” said McFadden.

Parents say when they’ve approached the school board in the past - privacy is always listed as the concern.

“There are currently cameras in hallways, common areas, and buses and I don’t see staff members complaining about privacy,” said McFadden.

Tiffany Smith is a former district employee. She says she’s reported cases of abuse in the past and was let go.

“I personally witnessed as a substitute and within the self-contained classrooms, children being locked in those closets banging on the door and crying and screaming to get out. They didn’t hurt anybody. It could be they were running around the room and they wanted them to sit down. It is simply not right,” said Smith.

At the end of the board meeting, Madison City School Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols addressed the parents.

“I think if there are any concerns, as most folks would know, miscommunication or lack thereof usually creates a lot of that. I will work to see what we can do to get folks to know each other better and show how hard these folks work,” said Dr. Nichols.

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