Scott: Should school video footage be available for parents?


Every parent should be allowed to review their child’s educational record upon a request made to an educational agency or institution under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Unedited surveillance videos should be able to be reviewed with a parent if they request within three business days at the latest. There should be a law or act put into place within each school district to maintain video footage in the original format (unedited) for parents to review in the future.

There’s been an increase of incidents throughout the state of Delaware that have involved school district employees and students. Integrity and professionalism continue to be questioned within some of our local district board of education meetings.

Under FERPA, video recordings (surveillance video) could be considered an educational record for students. One of the most common violations of this act is releasing information without consent — for example, accidentally or purposefully emailing student information to unauthorized parties. An administrator should know who unauthorized parties are but where is that information clearly identified within school district policy?

Too many times within this state, we have all been informed about mistreatment, misconduct and integrity compromised from those that we trusted to have the best interests of our children while they are within the school district’s care. Saving one’s career should not be placed in front of a child’s future as more important. In addition to this, there needs to be a tracking system for misconduct, so employees don’t district-hop after misconduct has been displayed.

We send our children to school so that they can have an equal opportunity to receive their free, appropriate public education. Whether they are on a school bus, in a classroom or within a hallway, they should be safe. Surveillance camera footage should be available, with sound and the best viewpoints.

Within improving quality education, there has to be some accountability between the Department of Education and school districts to ensure that safety is a top priority for everyone.

India R. Scott


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