Gov. Doug Ducey lashed out on Tuesday at a proposal by a GOP gubernatorial contender to put video cameras in every classroom in the state, saying it could lead to “predators’’ monitoring children.
The Republican governor, who cannot run for reelection due to term limits, said there are “responsible things’’ the state can do to improve public education. “And I think clarity and transparency on the curriculum is the way to do that,’’ along with having parents involved, he said.
But Ducey said the plan by candidate Kari Lake for cameras, creating recordings that would be available to parents and others, is not the solution. “We’ve got young kids in these classrooms,’’ he said. “We want to protect them from predators, of course.’’
Candidate Matt Salmon said in a Monday interview that his opponent Kari Lake’s proposal to monitor teachers was a “knee-jerk reaction” that was “very poorly thought out.” Salmon also said that cameras could be vulnerable to hacking or the whims of future, liberal government administrations.
“The last thing I want is big government and big tech putting these kinds of things in the classroom,” Salmon told The Arizona Republic, calling surveillance in classrooms an “Orwellian nightmare.” Salmon said, if elected, he would support legislation promoting parental involvement, “so that parents can actually physically come and participate in the classroom.”
Lake, a former Fox 10 TV news anchor, unveiled her idea last month in a radio interview as she was talking about a controversy in Scottsdale Unified School District. There, a former board president was accused of keeping an online dossier of parents who were critical of district policies.
She said if there is surveillance, it “should be going the other way,’’ comparing the idea of classroom cameras to police body cameras. In her radio interview, Lake said the video from each classroom would not be livestreamed so that “creepers’’ could watch classroom activity.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AZ CENTRAL
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