by Anura Guruge
I can appreciate the INTENT of the ‘IV‘ “No school shall record in any way a school classroom for any purpose without school board approval …“ clause — the last clause of this Bill.
It is to prevent school ADMINISTRATIONS from conducting SURVEILLANCE on teachers. I can appreciate why teachers would object to that. But we will get to that later.
I am no lawyer BUT as I read this it states, very clearly, “NO SCHOOL …“.
It doesn’t mention individual students. Yes, there is the ‘blanket’ secret, non-consensual (tape) recording law. But, that does not apply if a student requests verbal permission and does the recording in full view.
Schools are interpreting HB 507, that came into effect this school year (i.e., 2015 – 2016), as meaning that kids, with a teacher’s approval, can’t use their ubiquitous phones to record what is being said in class.
Well here is the WRINKLE in that. Students with disabilities — the so called ‘Section 504‘ kids. They are protected by a whole different (federal) set of laws. IF the 504 states that the student needs to be able to record, audio or even video, all that transpires in a classroom the school and teachers have to acquiesce!
We know. We have a 504 child. And she wanted to record some of her classes so that she could re-run them, over and over again. The ‘school’ agreed. Then they came across HB 507. THEN they said, BUT if we put it in her 504 she will be all set.
This is STUPID.
Yes, we all understand that teachers do not want to be SPIED upon. Yes, I have taught.
But just last week we all saw that incident with the school girl getting FLIPPED off her chair and flung across the floor.
Aren’t WE all glad that 3 kids managed to capture this, on video, on their phones? Yes, I know that at least one kid is going to get charged for illegal recording. I saw her and her mother on CNN. They have NO regrets. They did the right thing.
We have cameras on school buses.
I think they have cameras on corridors [– but I could be wrong on that].
Don’t we ALL know, viscerally, that we will, as with the school buses, END UP having permanent, full-time cameras in all classrooms?
So this law has to be rethought.
You can clearly see that Clause IV was snuck in, most likely at the last minute, without too much thought OR consultation. Did they for a second think about the Section 504 override. I doubt IF there is a class in NH which does not have at least one Section 504 kid.
So, this is a Heads Up. No consequence to us. Our daughter, as of next week, when Deanna updates and signs the 504, will be able to record.