Nevada lawmakers will consider bill to put cameras in special needs classrooms

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 9:13 AM PST
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Local parents of special needs students are calling for more accountability for schools.

SB158, sponsored by state Senator Scott Hammond, would require cameras to be set up in special needs classrooms in public schools to ensure those students are being treated the way they should be.

“This is really trying to get at those kids who are non-verbal,” Hammond said in an Education Committee meeting Monday afternoon. “If you have a majority of those kids in a classroom who cannot speak or advocate for themselves, this will be a huge advantage for them.”

Yesenia Gonzales has a special needs student who she says was treated unfairly by teachers in the Clark County School District. She says during that time, her son became non-verbal, so he was unable to say what was happening at school.

“This bill would give a voice to the voiceless,” she said shortly after speaking to the committee in favor of the bill. “It would tell both sides of the story.”

Gonzales says teachers would benefit, too.

“It’s a no-brainer,” she said. “It protects everybody in general, and it tells the story of what happened exactly, and there’s no more questions. It’s there plain as day.”

Andrea Michelle Esquivel, a mother of three autistic children, says one of her students went through a similar situation to Gonzales’ son.

“He wasn’t able to tell us,” Esquivel said. “He wasn’t able to tell anyone because he’s non-verbal.”

Esquivel says a camera proved her child’s case. She wants that luxury for every special needs student in Nevada.

“That video was my son’s voice,” she said.

FOX5 asked CCSD for a comment on the bill, but have have not heard back from the district.

If SB158 passes, elementary schools would have to install cameras in special education classrooms by June 30, 2026. Middle and high schools would have until June 30, 2028.