Parents complain of lack of cameras in special needs classrooms -, GA News Weather & Sports

Parents complain of lack of cameras in special needs classrooms

Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

The potential for abuse in special needs classrooms is a hot topic in one metro Atlanta school district. A year and a half after state leaders passed a new law allowing schools to install cameras in classrooms, some parents say educators haven't done it.

Alleged abuse inside special needs classrooms is troubling for Lala Dunson.

"Every day I put him on the bus and I'm always, I wonder a lot what is going to happen today," said Dunson.

Dunson said her son Landon is autistic and was allegedly abused in school, but there were no cameras in the classroom to capture it. 

State lawmakers passed HB 614 last year.  It's called the Landon Dunson Act and allows schools to place surveillance cameras in special needs classrooms, but does not mandate it.

"I think it protects everybody.  Everybody.  All the way around.  This isn't only about our babies," said Ana Vasquez, a parent of a child with special needs.

Ana Vazquez's son Nathaniel is also autistic and said her research shows that most school districts have not yet added cameras in the classroom. 

"Even if it's just another situation where your child injures themselves.  You're protecting yourself with that camera,' said Vasquez.

But cameras are optional under the new state law and can be costly.  dunson said parents and educators need to take a stand.

CBS46 checked with all of the major metro school districts and at this time - Fulton County is the only one to respond with information saying they don't have cameras in any classrooms.

Dunson and Vasquez say they are requesting an investigation into the funding which schools receive for special needs programs to find out why they don't have the funds to add cameras.

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