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Arlington Teachers Want Cellphone Cams in Class

School district says mobile phone cameras violate privacy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Arlington teachers are fighting for the right to use cell phone cameras in callas to record unruly and uncontrollable students in class. (Published Thursday, May 17, 2012)

    A teachers group is pushing the Arlington school district to allow teachers to record unruly students with cellphone cameras.

    "Most people, if they know they're being recorded, they're going to act civil, they're going to stop whatever nonsense behavior because they know that can be used as evidence behavior against them," Larry Shaw, president of United Educators Association.

    The Arlington Independent School District code of conduct allows cameras for safety and discipline purposes, but only in common areas such as hallways, cafeterias and libraries.

    But there is an expectation of privacy in the classroom, district spokeswoman Amy Casas said. The Classrooms are not considered public places because one has to be on the class roster in order to be allowed in.

    "We would agree with them if the teacher was uploading it on YouTube or sharing it in the teacher's lounge, but that's not the purpose," Shaw said.

    He said teachers would use the cameras for their safety and the safety of students.

    "There are a lot of kids bigger than a lot of teachers," Shaw said. "Teachers don't have guns. They don't have billy clubs. They don't have anything. The only thing they do have is a cellphone that has a camera located on it."

    Casas said she agreed that the issue is about safety, but added that it is also about protecting privacy.