Longview ISD Plans To Install Video Cameras In Special Needs Classrooms
There's been a lot of controversy in the Longview ISD recently after 6 former employees of an elementary school in the district were arrested on allegations of injuring special needs children. After public outcry, the district is taking action to insure that kids with special needs are being taken care of safely.
The 6 Employees All Worked At J.L. Everhart Elementary School.
Everhart is a part of East Texas Advanced Academies, a charter school that operates six campuses within Longview ISD. The six women were arrested and released from jail on bond in July. They all have since resigned from their positions within Longview ISD.
- Former Principal Cassandra Renee James,
- Former Assistant Principal Linda Kaye Brown Lister,
- Former special education teacher Cecilia Gregg,
- Former teacher's aide Paula Hawkins Dixon
- Former teacher's aide Cynthia Denise Talley
- Former teacher Priscilla Johnson
The indictments describe incidents that occurred in August and September 2021 and involve children younger than 14 and 17.
Longview ISD will install video surveillance equipment in all of its classrooms that solely serve special needs students.
In response to outraged parents, Longview ISD made a decision to install video surveillance cameras only in classrooms that serves special needs students. The decision came by a vote Monday of the Longview ISD Board of Trustees, following a closed session discussion with the East Texas Advanced Academies board of directors.
Superintendent James Wilcox said after the meeting Monday that the cameras will be installed before school starts Aug. 15.
He estimated the district has six self-contained classrooms. “Self-contained” classrooms are described as where some special needs students stay in just those classrooms with a smaller number of students, versus “inclusion” classrooms that places special needs students in traditional classrooms, where they are provided additional assistance.