Gov. Justice signs Special Education Camera bills

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signs Special Education bills
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 6:39 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed two bills that will change how and when cameras can be looked at in special education classes.

One is geared toward making it easier for schools to review videos in special education classrooms and the other strengthens penalties against those convicted of abuse in special education classrooms.

Before this, a report of abuse was needed before anyone could look at the video.

“Nobody should be afraid or scared or concerned about the fact that you’ve got cameras in classrooms and then try to hide behind, well, you can only view those cameras at a certain time,” Justice said.

A group of parents and legislators broke into applause when the governor signed two bills into law, including Craig and Beth Bowden.

For months, they’ve pushed West Virginia legislators to pass these laws after a teacher allegedly abused their special needs son.

When Gov. Justice put his pen to paper, Craig said not only was he thinking about his own son but other families, as well.

“People like to tell me I did it, I didn’t do it alone, I had a lot of help,” Bowden said. “It keeps our kids safe in the classroom, our special needs classrooms, helps parents feel confident that their parent, that their children are safe, and it also punishes appropriately the people that cross the line and abuse these children.”

One of the lead sponsors for the bills, Del. Margitta Mazzocchi, R-Logan, said there are times when children got hurt and no one knew what was happening because of the inability look at the video.

“It is a big thing if they are hurting the kids, and no one punishes them. Then they can do it again and again, and it’s not right,” Mazzocchi said.

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