Reports: Bill that would’ve put live cameras in Iowa classrooms dies

Cameras in Special Education Classrooms
Cameras in Special Education Classrooms(KNOE)
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 3:35 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) - A bill that would have allowed parents and guardians in Iowa to monitor classrooms through a live feed died Wednesday.

The Des Moines Register reports a three-member House subcommittee was set to hear from the public on the proposal, but the chair, Rep. Ray Sorenson, R-Greenfield, called off the meeting. This was because Rep. Sorenson learned that the panel’s Democrat, Rep. Ras Smith of Waterloo, was out sick.

The Register says Sorenson wanted to hold the hearing to allow the public to share views on House File 2177, but he said the measure lacked support and there wouldn’t be time to reschedule before a legislative deadline next week.


COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (WOWT) - Could cameras be coming to your child’s classroom?

A bill in Iowa would do just that.

The bill would allow parents and guardians in Iowa to monitor classrooms through a live video feed.

Iowa Representative Norlin Mommsen introduced the bill after seeing what happened with virtual learning during the pandemic.

“My goal is to foster parent involvement,” said Rep. Mommsen.

Mommsen says this bill would make it easier for parents to know what kids are learning and help with homework. He says it has nothing to do with monitoring what material is being taught.

Others argue this would have a negative impact on the school system.

And some school leaders say they don’t believe the bill will ever pass because it would impact a child’s right to privacy and safety.

“This is live cameras is what the suggestion is. That a parent can log in and look at what’s going on in a classroom at any time. That may sound innocent enough but it violates family’s privacy because if I’m a parent, I don’t necessarily want any adult to that can log into a situation looking in on my children,” said Eric Knost, Lewis Central Superintendent.

Under the bill---teachers could be fined up to 5% of their weekly pay if they turn the camera off during school hours.

Lewis central superintendent Eric Knost says this bill could come with other consequences that would ultimately impact children.

“When you put somebody, you put big brother watching you with a live camera in a room, we are just going to drive more and more teachers away and it’s devastating to the public education system.”

Mommsen says he has heard from people for and against cameras in the classroom. He says he created this bill to create a discussion on how to better help kids in the long run.

As for what’s next? He says he trusts the process.

“Maybe the process here will throw it out and say it’s not a good idea and say we don’t think we should go down that road and they might also say we see some merit to it with these adjustments.”Copyright 2022 KTIV. All rights reserved.