Requiring School Bus Drivers, Crossing Guards, and School Resource Officers Wear Body Cameras

H.4432 would mandate that school bus drivers, school crossing guards, and resource officers wear body-worn cameras. The State Department of Education (DOE) would develop guidelines governing the use of the cameras. Once school districts received the guidelines they would be tasked with developing policies and procedures for the use of body-worn cameras and submitting these policies to the DOE for review and approval. Within 300 days of this bill becoming law the DOE would submit a report to the General Assembly including recommendations for further law changes to implement this bill, and the fiscal impact of this policy.

Any data recorded by the body-worn cameras required by this bill is subject to FOIA.

The merits of mandating the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement officers with a general jurisdiction can be debated. There are privacy concerns attached to such a policy, but there is also the possibility that requiring the use of body-worn cameras could reduce abuses of power by officials the government gives a wide authority to use force, up to and including deadly force. Requiring employees such as bus drivers and crossing guards to wear cameras comes with much the same potential for privacy violation as does requiring cameras for police, but it has far less potential to stem abuses of power. Requiring cameras for these kind of employees would be an expensive mandate that could contribute to violations of citizens’ privacy, for little if any benefit.

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