Video cameras could be installed in public school classrooms across the state including Hernando County if a measure slated to come before lawmakers during the upcoming legislative session becomes law. The measure would allow schools to use video and audio recordings to document “incidents” of student abuse or neglect by teachers or other students as they take place.
Filed on Dec. 28 by State Rep. Bob Rommel (R-Naples), HB 1055 would allow school districts to adopt policies for the installation of video cameras at the front of classrooms in public schools within the district, and to require teachers working in those classrooms to wear microphones.
School districts that do adopt the policies must notify in writing parents and students that cameras have been installed in their assigned classrooms.
Finally, parents of students involved in recorded classroom incidents have seven days to review the video. At the same time, the faces of students present, but not involved in the incident, must be blurred.
Principals must keep the videos for three months or until investigations or litigation connected to the recordings are completed. After that, the recordings will be destroyed.
School boards have until Jan. 1, 2023, to vote on whether or not they want to install and maintain cameras in district classrooms.
Spokesperson Karen Jordan said that the Hernando County School District will monitor the measure’s progress.
“Each year, the school board and superintendent closely monitor all proposed legislation that may impact our work, should it become law,” Jordan said. “We are aware of the current proposal and will be following (it) as it moves through the session.”
If passed, HB 1055 would become law on July 1, 2022.