West Virginia has joined the vast number of states passing new laws to protect students. Specifically, lawmakers here are working to safeguard some of the most vulnerable members of the community by passing Senate Bill 632, which requires video cameras installed in all special education classrooms.
The push to increase monitoring capabilities comes after some troubling news. In February, a high-profile incident exposed a young autistic student was allegedly verbally abused and threatened by several staff members at Berkeley Heights Elementary School in Martinsburg.
This ugly occurrence was caught on audiotape and outraged the community. According to WJLA, the secret recording included instructors telling a child, "I could punch her right in her face” and "I'm going to pull your hair until you start crying,” among other offensive remarks.
This behavior was reportedly widespread in this classroom. But it was only after the release of these comments — all supposedly recorded during one normal day at school — that legislators quickly moved to act.
With this bill, the goal is to promote transparency and ensure that students are protected. It is also important that faculty are held accountable for any abusive behavior.
Requirements of Bill 632
For West Virginia schools preparing to install the new required security cameras, there are important requirements that every solution must meet:
At least 90 days of retention for all footage.
Recorded footage must contain audio.
Cameras must cover all viewable areas and adjacent rooms, including closets, except for private areas, including restrooms and changing areas.
Access to footage has to be managed and controlled by the school’s principal.
Considerations to make during this process
Choosing the right video solution starts with evaluating what options fit the requirements of this specific bill. In addition to the conditions outlined above, schools should also consider factors like:
What are the costs of an installation?
What other equipment will I need to purchase (such as DVRs, NVRs, or servers)?
What are the options for scaling across the entire school/district?
How is footage accessed? Is it protected?
How are cameras and other components maintained for software and security updates?
Once you’ve addressed these considerations, you should now be able to evaluate the right video security solutions that both address this immediate need, as well as any further surveillance considerations across the district.
Interested in learning more about how Verkada can help you address Bill 632? Get started with your instant quote today.