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Thread: Hidden Camera In The Classroom

  1. #1
    seekinghelpny is offline Member
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    Hidden Camera In The Classroom

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York
    My wife is the Special Education teacher in an inclusion class. The class has a General Education teacher, Special Education teacher and asistant. Without going into all of the details the other teacher and assistant have been undermining my wife in the classroom. My wife has gone to the Principal and Union rep. but the school is under an audit by the state and there is much chaos. The Principal and Union rep keep telling my wife to just work it. Recently a parent reported to the Principal that her child told her that the teachers were arguing in the classroom. The Principal is taking the position that both teachers are at fault and plans to give a poor evaluation to both teachers. I think this is extremely unfair to my wife since she has had an impeccable record for the past 20 years. She is at the point of wanting to put a hidden camera in the classroom to record the behavior of the other teacher and assistant to show how they are deliberately undermining her and interfering with her class instruction. What are the risks of putting a hidden camera in the classroom for this purpose?
  2. #2
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    What are the risks?

    If I found out that my child's teacher was violating the privacy rights of my child, I would demand his or her immediate termination.
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  3. #3
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seekinghelpny View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York
    My wife is the Special Education teacher in an inclusion class. The class has a General Education teacher, Special Education teacher and asistant. Without going into all of the details the other teacher and assistant have been undermining my wife in the classroom. My wife has gone to the Principal and Union rep. but the school is under an audit by the state and there is much chaos. The Principal and Union rep keep telling my wife to just work it. Recently a parent reported to the Principal that her child told her that the teachers were arguing in the classroom. The Principal is taking the position that both teachers are at fault and plans to give a poor evaluation to both teachers. I think this is extremely unfair to my wife since she has had an impeccable record for the past 20 years. She is at the point of wanting to put a hidden camera in the classroom to record the behavior of the other teacher and assistant to show how they are deliberately undermining her and interfering with her class instruction. What are the risks of putting a hidden camera in the classroom for this purpose?
    There are many issues that are wrong with this. Anyone she tapes other than the other teacher would need to give their permission. She couldn't tape conversations between students. She could find herself being fired for this behavior, suspended or otherwise disciplined. She could also find herself being sued.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  4. #4
    seekinghelpny is offline Member
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    Recently there was a story about a father putting a tape recorder on his child to recorder the teachers verbally abusing the boy. Would the teacher and parents of the other children be able to sue the father?
  5. #5
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Depending on state law in the state where it occured, quite possibly.
    Two things I am tired of typing: 1.) A wrongful termination does not mean that you were fired for something you didn't do; it means that you were fired for a reason prohibited by law. 2.) The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding contract or CBA expressly says otherwise. If it does, the terms of the contract apply.
  6. #6
    Proseguru is offline Member
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    Your wife is free to seek out employment elsewhere. She has been a teacher for 20 years in NY? Must be proud of the childrens' performance on standardized testing. I think NY beat out Mississippi ! Congrats ! Public union workers....uuugh
  7. #7
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by seekinghelpny View Post
    Recently there was a story about a father putting a tape recorder on his child to recorder the teachers verbally abusing the boy. Would the teacher and parents of the other children be able to sue the father?
    Yes the parents would be able to. Whether the teacher would be able to successfully sue or not depends on whether the teacher has an expectation of privacy at her work.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  8. #8
    parkersharon32 is offline Junior Member
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    You are thinking a way too far and slightly illegal too. If your places a hidden camera then it would lead to risks of facing harsh results.
  9. #9
    lmfny is offline Junior Member
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    Where does everybody get this idea that you have a right to privacy in a public place like a classroom? That is simply not true. The standard for videotaping or photographing people is very simple -- do they have a "reasonable expectation of privacy". If someone is in a place where they would reasonably expect privacy, like a bathroom or a dressing room, then they generally cannot be photographed or videotaped. But if they are in a public place, like a classroom or a car, then they can be photographed or videotaped. A person's consent is only needed to publish their images, not to photograph them in the first place. Look around you people, you are being photographed and videotaped almost every where you go (in stores, on the streets, etc.) and nobody has asked you for permission to do so.
  10. #10
    lmfny is offline Junior Member
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    Let me make one correction to my post above. This answer applies only to images. Since videotapes can also record sound, there are possible implications under the federal wiretap laws and state laws regarding consent to recorded conversations (although state law wouldn't be an issue in New York since the consent of only one party to a conversation is required). This is why closed circuit security cameras in stores and other public areas don't record sound. And, of course, the school district itself probably has a policy regarding cameras in the classroom, so she should make sure she doesn't violate any district policies.
  11. #11
    CSO286 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmfny View Post
    Where does everybody get this idea that you have a right to privacy in a public place like a classroom? That is simply not true. The standard for videotaping or photographing people is very simple -- do they have a "reasonable expectation of privacy". If someone is in a place where they would reasonably expect privacy, like a bathroom or a dressing room, then they generally cannot be photographed or videotaped. But if they are in a public place, like a classroom or a car, then they can be photographed or videotaped. A person's consent is only needed to publish their images, not to photograph them in the first place. Look around you people, you are being photographed and videotaped almost every where you go (in stores, on the streets, etc.) and nobody has asked you for permission to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by lmfny View Post
    Let me make one correction to my post above. This answer applies only to images. Since videotapes can also record sound, there are possible implications under the federal wiretap laws and state laws regarding consent to recorded conversations (although state law wouldn't be an issue in New York since the consent of only one party to a conversation is required). This is why closed circuit security cameras in stores and other public areas don't record sound. And, of course, the school district itself probably has a policy regarding cameras in the classroom, so she should make sure she doesn't violate any district policies.

    Why did you create an account simply to respons to a thread that is six months old???

    We frown on necroposting here.
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  12. #12
    Antigone* is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmfny View Post
    Let me make one correction to my post above. This answer applies only to images. Since videotapes can also record sound, there are possible implications under the federal wiretap laws and state laws regarding consent to recorded conversations (although state law wouldn't be an issue in New York since the consent of only one party to a conversation is required). This is why closed circuit security cameras in stores and other public areas don't record sound. And, of course, the school district itself probably has a policy regarding cameras in the classroom, so she should make sure she doesn't violate any district policies.
    Why on earth are you bringing to light this dead thread with you wrong answers???
  13. #13
    lmfny is offline Junior Member
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    Because the answers given previously are wrong, and I am tired of students printing it out and bringing it to me as proof that I cannot videotape them. The general public, and apparently even many attorneys, are under the false impression that a right to privacy exists in a public place, and it simply doesn't. I am a teacher and a former attorney and I have litigated this very issue (and prevailed on a summary judgment motion). There simply is no right to privacy in a public place.
  14. #14
    lmfny is offline Junior Member
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    Of course I can prove I'm an attorney. Why would I lie about that? I guess everyone else who posted advice on this thread isn't. Maybe that's why the advice was wrong.
  15. #15
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by lmfny View Post
    A person's consent is only needed to publish their images, not to photograph them in the first place.
    Why do you think the OP's wife was contemplating recording in the first place?
    I'll wait...
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    That's right! To show (ie: publish) the video to others. So, by your reasoning, your post is wrong with respect to the topic at hand.

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