Iowa Republican lawmakers introduced a bill this week that would require cameras to be installed in all public school classrooms.
The purpose of the cameras would be to allow parents and guardians to view their children’s classes via livestream.
Republican state Rep. Norlin Mommsen sponsored the bill which could force schools to set up cameras in all K-12 classrooms, with the exception of physical education and special needs classes, according to the bill.
Teachers and other school staff who fail to keep their cameras in working condition or obstruct the view could be fined up to 5 percent of their weekly salary for each infraction, the bill adds.
Mommsen told The Center Square, an offshoot of the Franklin News Foundation, the main purpose of the bill is to boost parent involvement in their children’s education.
“I think we need to showcase the great work our teachers do,” Rep. Mommsen told the outlet during a phone interview this week.
“Similar to a body camera on a policeman, a camera takes away the ‘he said, she said’ or ‘he said, he said,’ type of argument and lets them know ‘hey, we are doing a good job.’ It takes that argument away.”
Teachers unions and education groups have criticized the legislation for attempting to censor what is said in the classroom.
“Some politicians around the country want to limit not only what history our kids can learn about and what books they can read, censor the truth of our history in some cases, and, now in Iowa, they want to install classroom cameras for live monitoring of teachers,” Becky Pringle, the president of the National Education Association, the largest educators union in the U.S., told NBC.
“Instead of wasting public funds on monitoring equipment, we should employ additional qualified professionals, reduce class sizes, and provide more programming that helps students acquire the skills they need,” Pringle added.
“The inappropriateness of belief that there should be continual videotaping in a classroom is something that should not even be considered,” Mike Beranek, the president of the Iowa State Education Association told KCCI.