Cameras are everywhere, but should they be in school classrooms?
A Gates-Chili couple is fighting for legislation to make cameras in every classroom across the state mandatory.
Ted and Jenna Wolfley believe cameras are the only way to help vulnerable students report abuse. They now homeschool their son after a bad experience in a local district. Their son has multiple disabilities and was not able to explain his version of what happened.
To this day, the Wolfleys say they do not have a full story about what happened to their son at school. They say cameras would have painted a clear picture of what happened to their son.
Here in New York, cameras are in many common areas of schools, like hallways and cafeterias, but not in classrooms. The Wolfleys say the cameras would also protect teachers if and when students become violent.
“There would be accountability,” Ted Wolfey said. “They would be there and after a while they’d be second nature to everyone.”
“Very often there’s a circumstance that happens in a room where it’s he said she said they said they did they saw,” Jenna Rosinsky-Wolfey said. “In my opinion a camera would take away all of the necessary meetings or discrepancies, just like we have cameras in dry cleaners, banks, jewelry stores.”
The Wolfleys have been sending out letters to local lawmakers.
News10NBC reached out to State Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle. A representative told us Morelle would give this matter the same consideration as all other requests and concerns.
We also reached out to the Rochester Teachers Association. President Adam Urbanski sent this statement:
“Mistreatment of any child is wrong and should not be tolerated. But putting cameras in the classrooms is not the answer. It would be against the law (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), invasion of privacy, and could have a chilling impact on the teaching and learning environment.”
You may be wondering who would pay for these cameras. The Wolfleys suggest school districts use cameras on laptops that most smart classrooms already have.
The Wolfleys say they will keep pushing for this legislation until cameras are in classrooms.