How much will cameras in special education classes cost? - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

How much will cameras in special education classes cost?

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

The parents of Houston-area disabled students who've been mistreated and abused in special education classrooms are being summoned to Austin to tell lawmakers what happened to their kids and why cameras can help protect them.

Over the better part of two years, FOX 26 News has chronicled the pain and the outrage of Houston area parents whose disabled children have been humiliated and physically abused in public school special needs classrooms by educators who were supposed to protect them.

As a means of accountability parents have demanded installation of surveillance cameras where the most vulnerable are taught - those disabled students who can't tell others when they're being mistreated.

Senate Education chairman Dan Patrick of Katy responded by filing SB 1380 - a measure which would mandate an electronic witness to watch over most defenseless students in Texas.

"We wouldn't have this legislation today if it weren't for Fox news," said Patrick.

On Thursday morning in Austin at a hearing called by Patrick the parents of abuse victims will testify.

Looming beneath the tales of mistreatment and betrayal will be the question of what it will cost taxpayers to provide this protection.

"You are looking roughly at a $1000 dollars," said Laurie Monroe of Security Cameras Houston.

That's $1,000 dollars per classroom, installation included.

That means Texas could put a high quality surveillance and recording device in 3,000 special need classrooms for around $3 million dollars.

"It's very affordable if they want to make the investment and I think its worth the investment," said Monroe.

Within a state education budget likely to exceed $46 billion dollars for next year, parents will argue a few million dollars is a small price to pay to provide protection and peace of mind.

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