Chapter 103. Health and Safety
Subchapter DD. Commissioner's Rules Concerning Video Surveillance of Certain Special Education Settings


103.1301. Video Surveillance of Certain Special Education Settings.

(a)  Requirement to implement. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, in order to promote student safety, on request by a parent, trustee, or staff member, a school district or open-enrollment charter school must provide video equipment to campuses in accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), 29.022, and this section. Campuses that receive video equipment must place, operate, and maintain video cameras in self-contained classrooms or other special education settings in accordance with TEC, 29.022, and this section.

(b)  Definitions. For purposes of TEC, 29.022, and this section, the following terms have the following meanings.

(1)  Parent means a person described in TEC, 26.002, whose child receives special education and related services for at least 50 percent of the instructional day in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting. Parent also means a student who receives special education and related services for at least 50 percent of the instructional day in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting and who is 18 years of age or older or whose disabilities of minority have been removed for general purposes under Texas Family Code, Chapter 31, unless the student has been determined to be incompetent or the student's rights have been otherwise restricted by a court order.

(2)  Staff member means an employee of the school district or open-enrollment charter school.

(3)  Trustee means a member of a school district's board of trustees or a member of an open-enrollment charter school's governing body.

(4)  Open-enrollment charter school means a charter granted to a charter holder under TEC, 12.101 or 12.152, identified with its own county district number.

(5)  Self-contained classroom means a classroom on a regular school campus (i.e., a campus that serves students in general education and students in special education) of a school district or an open-enrollment charter school in which a majority of the students in regular attendance are provided special education and related services and have one of the following instructional arrangements/settings described in the student attendance accounting handbook adopted under 129.1025 of this title (relating to Adoption by Reference: Student Attendance Accounting Handbook):

(A)  self-contained (mild/moderate/severe) regular campus;

(B)  full-time early childhood (preschool program for children with disabilities) special education setting;

(C)  residential care and treatment facility--self-contained (mild/moderate/severe) regular campus;

(D)  residential care and treatment facility--full-time early childhood special education setting;

(E)  off home campus--self-contained (mild/moderate/severe) regular campus; or

(F)  off home campus--full-time early childhood special education setting.

(6)  Other special education setting means a classroom on a separate campus (i.e., a campus that serves only students who receive special education and related services) of a school district or open-enrollment charter school in which a majority of the students in regular attendance are provided special education and related services and have one of the following instructional arrangements/settings described in the student attendance accounting handbook adopted under 129.1025 of this title:

(A)  residential care and treatment facility--separate campus; or

(B)  off home campus--separate campus.

(7)  Video camera means a video surveillance camera with audio recording capabilities.

(8)  Video equipment means one or more video cameras and any technology and equipment needed to place, operate, and maintain video cameras as required by TEC, 29.022, and this section. Video equipment also means any technology and equipment needed to store and access video recordings as required by TEC, 29.022, and this section.

(9)  Incident means an event or circumstance that:

(A)  involves alleged "abuse" or "neglect," as those terms are described in Texas Family Code, 261.001, of a student by an employee of the school district or charter school or alleged "physical abuse" or "sexual abuse," as those terms are described in Texas Family Code, 261.410, of a student by another student; and

(B)  allegedly occurred in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting in which video surveillance under TEC, 29.022, and this section is conducted.

(c)  Exclusions. A school district or open-enrollment charter school is not required to provide video equipment to a campus of another district or charter school or to a nonpublic school. In addition, the Texas School for the Deaf, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, and any other state agency that provides special education and related services to students are not subject to the requirements in TEC, 29.022, and this section.

(d)  Use of funds. A school district or open-enrollment charter school may solicit and accept gifts, grants, and donations from any person to implement the requirements in TEC, 29.022, and this section. A district or charter school is not permitted to use Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, funds or state special education funds to implement the requirements of TEC, 29.022, and this section.

(e)  Dispute resolution. The special education dispute resolution procedures in 34 Code of Federal Regulations, 300.151-300.153 and 300.504-300.515, do not apply to complaints alleging that a school district or open-enrollment charter school has failed to comply with TEC, 29.022, and/or this section. Complaints alleging violations of TEC, 29.022, and/or this section must be addressed through the district's or charter school's local grievance procedures or other dispute resolution channels.

(f)  Regular school year and extended school year services. TEC, 29.022, and this section apply to video surveillance during the regular school year and during extended school year services.

(g)  Policies and procedures. Each school district board of trustees and open-enrollment charter school governing body must adopt written policies relating to video surveillance under TEC, 29.022, and this section. At a minimum, the policies must include:

(1)  a statement that video surveillance is for the purpose of promoting student safety in certain self-contained classrooms and other special education settings;

(2)  the procedures for requesting video surveillance and the procedures for responding to a request for video surveillance;

(3)  the procedures for providing advanced written notice to the campus staff and the parents of the students assigned to a self-contained classroom or other special education setting that video and audio surveillance will be conducted in the classroom or setting;

(4)  a requirement that video cameras be operated at all times during the instructional day when students are in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting in which video cameras are placed;

(5)  a statement regarding the personnel who will have access to video equipment or video recordings for purposes of operating and maintaining the equipment or recordings;

(6)  a requirement that a campus continue to operate and maintain any video camera placed in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting for as long as the classroom or setting continues to satisfy the requirements in TEC, 29.022(a);

(7)  a requirement that video cameras placed in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting be capable of recording video and audio of all areas of the classroom or setting, except that no video surveillance may be conducted of the inside of a bathroom or other area used for toileting or diapering a student or removing or changing a student's clothes;

(8)  a statement that video recordings must be retained for at least six months after the date the video was recorded;

(9)  a statement that the regular or continual monitoring of video is prohibited and that video recordings must not be used for teacher evaluation or monitoring or for any purpose other than the promotion of student safety;

(10)  at the school district's or open-enrollment charter school's discretion, a requirement that campuses post a notice at the entrance of any self-contained classroom or other special education setting in which video cameras are placed stating that video and audio surveillance are conducted in the classroom or setting;

(11)  the procedures for reporting a complaint alleging that an incident occurred in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting in which video surveillance under TEC, 29.022, and this section is conducted;

(12)  the local grievance procedures for filing a complaint alleging violations of TEC, 29.022, and/or this section; and

(13)  a statement that video recordings made under TEC, 29.022, and this section are confidential and a description of the limited circumstances under which the recordings may be viewed.

(h)  Confidentiality of video recordings. A video recording made under TEC, 29.022, and this section is confidential and may only be viewed by the following individuals, to the extent not limited by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) or other law:

(1)  a staff member or a parent of a student involved in an incident described in subsection (b)(9) of this section that is documented by a video recording for which a complaint has been reported to the district or charter school;

(2)  appropriate Texas Department of Family and Protective Services personnel as part of an investigation under Texas Family Code, 261.406;

(3)  a peace officer, school nurse, administrator trained in de-escalation and restraint techniques as provided by commissioner rule, or a human resources staff member designated by the school district's board of trustees or open-enrollment charter school's governing body in response to a complaint or an investigation of an incident described in subsection (b)(9) of this section; or

(4)  appropriate Texas Education Agency or State Board for Educator Certification personnel or agents as part of an investigation.

(i)  Child abuse and neglect reporting. If a person described in subsection (h)(3) or (4) of this section views a video recording and has cause to believe that the recording documents possible abuse or neglect of a child under Texas Family Code, Chapter 261, the person must submit a report to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services or other authority in accordance with the local policy adopted under 61.1051 of this title (relating to Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect) and Texas Family Code, Chapter 261.

(j)  Disciplinary actions and legal proceedings. If a person described in subsection (h)(2), (3), or (4) of this section views a video recording and believes that it documents a possible violation of school district, open-enrollment charter school, or campus policy, the person may allow access to the recording to appropriate legal and human resources personnel of the district or charter school to the extent not limited by FERPA or other law. A recording believed to document a possible violation of school district, open-enrollment charter school, or campus policy may be used in a disciplinary action against district or charter school personnel and must be released in a legal proceeding at the request of a parent of the student involved in the incident documented by the recording. A recording believed to document a possible violation of school district, open-enrollment charter school, or campus policy must be released for viewing by the district or charter school employee who is the subject of the disciplinary action at the request of the employee.

(k)  Access rights. Subsections (i) and (j) of this section do not limit the access of a student's parent to an educational record of the student under FERPA or other law. To the extent any provisions in TEC, 29.022, and this section conflict with FERPA or other federal law, federal law prevails.

Statutory Authority: The provisions of this 103.1301 issued under the Texas Education Code, 29.022.

Source: The provisions of this 103.1301 adopted to be effective August 15, 2016, 41 TexReg 6017; amended to be effective March 15, 2017, 42 TexReg 1122.


For more information, email rules@tea.texas.gov.