Florida Legislature’s House Bill 1055 would put cameras in classrooms
Your proposed bill, HB 1055, to install video cameras and microphones in Florida classrooms so parents can check on “incidents” in classrooms is just the latest example of the modus operandi of the Florida legislature of imposing “solutions” where no problem exists.
The next step, of course, will be for others – anyone in the public or government – to monitor what teachers and students are saying and learning in the classroom. Your approach, which assumes guilt where there is none, will become just another red flag to be waved against parents and community members who are concerned about public education but misled and “inflamed”. by information taken out of context and distorted by lies and insinuation.
Think about the implications – who would want to become a teacher? Horrible pay, no respect, and now a video and mic harassing you.
Have you ever read 1984? Big Brother is not the way to encourage learners to tackle difficult problems, learn critical thinking, and become active, informed, and voting citizens of our democracy. What you are proposing can only limit reflection, discussion and learning for the students who will become the leaders of tomorrow.
And how are you going to pay for all those microphones and video cameras? Who will you hire for millions of “education” dollars to sit down and review these recordings so parents see the “correct” ones? Who are you going to hire to review the examiners? Do you remember the Stasi in East Germany? They had neighbors and family members who spied on and reported to each other, as the Russians do and as the Nazis did, and as all totalitarian dictators have done and will continue to do, until we stand up and say, “no more”.
We always thought, “it can’t happen here”, but your bill looks suspiciously like a page from the fascist playbook and, tragically, it’s happening here.
You may try to justify this undemocratic law as an attempt to root out “socialism” and “communism”, however, you are, in fact, creating what you claim to fear. You say you avoid the excesses of government, but common sense tells us that what you are proposing will bring nothing positive and that in fact you are planning to control learning, freedom of expression and thought.
My question for you is, “Who do you think you represent?”
I eagerly await an answer
Madelon V. Stewart
Madelon Stewart is an active member of various local non-partisan organizations all dedicated to supporting quality public education, student learning, racial equity and the right to vote. She holds a doctorate in education from Teachers College Columbia.