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Basye to file bill on recording special needs student meetings

Issue has drawn heated debate in Columbia

student meetings bill proposal

COLUMBIA, Mo. - State Rep. Chuck Basye said Tuesday that he plans to pre-file legislation to prevent school districts from keeping parents or students form recording meetings between teachers and special needs students.

Basye, R-Rocheport, said he believes parents just want the recordings for review purposes. He said his legislation will help students and parents.

"One of the things you have to understand is there is currently no school district in Missouri that allows recording of these meetings," Columbia Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark said.

CPS has been reviewing its policy that prohibits recording of those meetings amid a push by parents of some special needs students. Parents packed a school board meeting Monday as the board considered changing the policy. Several teachers surveyed by the district oppose the change.

Baumstark said the biggest issue with changing policy would be the number of questions still unanswered. 

"Because there are so many implications as a result of a change like that, you definitely want to make sure that you are having all of the necessary discussions," she said.

One of the issues could revolve around student confidentiality. If the district is required to allow students or parents to record the meetings, Baumstark said the district will also have to figure out how to keep the video recordings for the student record. 

"There's a ton of questions. How do we store that? How do we store that for 20 years?" she said. "How do we tie that to an individual student's records? Who's doing the transcriptions?"

But Baumstark said it would be nice to have state legislation if it answered district questions.

Currently, every school district in the state is free to decide the issue on its own.

Basye plans to pre-file the bill when pre-filing opens Dec. 2.


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