Saturday, January 24, 2015

"Are You Serious?" Awards - Volume XLI: The Somebody's Watching Me Edition

It will only be a matter of time.  As we read of student abuse and inappropriate class conduct, we edge ever closer to the distinct possibility of cameras in the classroom.  It has also been suggested that police officers wear video monitoring devices in an attempt to appease those crying out for criminal justice.  This increases the likelihood of others working with the public also using such devices to monitor the behavior of on both sides of an interaction.

Nevertheless, as this week's winner demonstrates, many in the teaching professions are fighting video surveillance with every fiber of their being.

Recently, a school district in New Jersey notified a mother that they would no longer tutor her 2 children who have a chromosomal disorder unless she removed the "nanny camera" she had recently installed in her home.

Are you SERIOUS?!

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The mother has stated that she installed the video camera, not to monitor the therapists tutoring her children, but to keep an eye on her kids' behavior, because they are prone to act up.  She wanted to assure that everyone was safe.  In addition, the mother was completely up front about the presence of the nanny cam, notifying the instructor that it was there before a session even took place.

Even so, the mother now lives in fear of her children losing services and falling behind.  She was sent a message from the school district telling her that therapists and tutoring would no longer be provided if she continues to record sessions by video.

This brings up an interesting, multifaceted conundrum.  To be completely frank, parents these days tend towards the side of being "helicopter parents."  What instructor or therapist would want to subject themselves to being micro-managed or continually critiqued by an overly protective parent?  I can certainly appreciate that point of view as I watch some of my peers "majoring in the minors" when it comes to their kids.

On the other hand, these tutors work for this mother in her home.  A good parent would naturally want to do their very best in assuring their children are behaving appropriately in these sessions and receiving appropriate treatment by the tutors.  Furthermore, what if this parent wished to review these tutoring lessons, working together with the team, reinforcing what the children are learning?  With the adversarial treatment of the school district, all possibility of working together has now been removed.

What do YOU think?  Are you a fan of cameras in the classroom?  Why or why not?  Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section below!

~ Barb Dittrich

*Read more at  New Jersey School District Threatens to Stop Sending Special Needs Therapist After Mother Installs Nanny Cam.

1 comment:

  1. Yes. Had a kid with autism from our practice who was molested when left unattended in a room at school for twenty minutes .