I’ve been following a case in Ardmore, Oklahoma, about parents who suspected that their child was being mistreated in school, so they enabled recording on the child’s “talker” device. Abusive language was, in fact, recorded, and the parents sued. The school has tried to block the use of the recorded content, but so far has failed in court.
An associate district judge has rejected the appeal Ardmore City Schools filed in Carter County District Court seeking to quash evidence connected to a federal lawsuit filed against the school by the parents of a severely disabled child.
The appeal sought a ruling to suppress recorded evidence the parents had obtained from their non-verbal child’s (computerized) “Talker” while he was in class at Charles Evans Elementary School. The school argued the recordings violated the state’s Security of Communications Act. The school also alleged the parents “set out to obtain evidence about what was happening during the course of the (child’s) school day …” and complained the parents never revealed they were using the child’s “Talker” to obtain audio or visual recordings nor obtained the school’s permission.
I wrote on some of the issues relating to abuse and surveillance here, for CNN. I’m troubled by the need to record, but I can’t argue with the parents seeking evidence, especially in the case of a non-verbal child or a child whose testimony won’t be believed (due to ableism).