GOP Bill Would Install Classroom Cameras for Live Monitoring of Public Schools


A new proposal from an Iowa House Republican would place cameras in every public school classroom with the exception of physical and special education rooms.

HF 2177 was introduced by Rep. Norlin Mommsen of DeWitt.

According to Mommsen’s bill, the cameras would be connected to the internet, and parents and guardians would have access to a live feed to watch what is happening in their child’s classroom during normal attendance hours.

The cameras, their installation, and other related expenses would be paid for with the existing funds provided to school districts by the state legislature, meaning no additional state dollars would go to this effort.

This legislation follows up on months of Republican efforts to impose tighter control over what is taught in Iowa classrooms after a series of far-right online articles whipped up paranoia, often based on false or distorted claims, over public school curriculum. Some state senators have called for jailing teachers over out-of-context passages in various books available in some school libraries.

In this bill, there would also be punishment for staff, teachers, or administrators who fail to comply with having cameras in the classroom. If a classroom camera is intentionally obstructed, disconnected or the online site where the feed is streamed is purposefully disrupted, that perpetrator would be found guilty of non-compliance.

A first-time offender would receive a written reprimand. A second offense is punishable by a fine equal to 1% of the employee’s weekly salary. A third or subsequent offense is punishable by a fine equal to 5% of the employee’s weekly salary.

School district superintendents would be fined 5% of their weekly salary every time one of their employees fails to comply with the classroom camera mandate.

The only states that allow cameras in selected classrooms are Georgia, Texas, and West Virginia. Florida has a bill similar to Iowa’s coursing through its statehouse, although that bill allows districts to opt-out of classroom cameras whereas Iowa’s does not.


by Ty Rushing

Advertise on Iowa Starting Line


8 Comments on "GOP Bill Would Install Classroom Cameras for Live Monitoring of Public Schools"

  • Oh the irony of Republican legislators. We the public are not allowed to have press representation on the floor, we the public do not get an opinion on our tax dollars going to settle harassment claims of same legislators, who by the way proclaim to now speak on all “moral” matters. The hypocrisy is stunning. Because nothing says come live in Iowa more than we watch our educators and we ban books too!

  • I strongly believe we need cameras in every corner of the interior and exterior of all school or bullying, violence, students protection,school staffs protection what are we waiting for!!!

  • Also of note is how vociferously Republican state legislators were against speed cameras, but are all in on classroom cameras.
    “Surveillance For Thee, Not Me.”

  • Your referenced quote doesn’t even apply to your point. Also, please try to see the difference between wanting to monitor anyone who is alone in a room with our children where trust in that person has been lost vs. not wanting to install cameras on public roads to monitor adults driving when doing so has been shown time & again to increase racial profiling, discrimination & harassment of POC.

  • This kind of camera cannot just show teachers. The students would also be visible. What normal parents want their children’s live video images live on the internet throughout the day. If it’s live on the internet it will be found. What easier way for pedophiles to spot victims. The Republican Pedophilia Enablement Bill!

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