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Texas Mom's Legal Fight Ends With Cameras In Special Ed Classes

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KELLER (1080 KRLD) - A mother in Keller has won a legal battle to have video surveillance cameras in special education classrooms in Texas. She began the journey after claims that her son was being mistreated.

Breggett Rideau's special needs son, 21-years-old Terrance Rideau, attends class at Keller High School. It hasn't been a month since a security camera was installed in his classroom, but the fight to get that camera was long and grueling.

It began in 2008, when Rideau says her son often came home from Keller Middle School with mysterious injuries. "He had a knot on his head, a broken thumb, and two dislocated knees," she says. "I thought, 'Lord, this is too much.'"

It took a few years, buy Rideau says after a formal school investigation she discovered Terrance's teacher had been mistreating him.

While the Keller Independent School District did conduct an investigation, no charges were never brought against the teacher.

Rideau set out on a mission to prevent and future abuse from happening to her son or any other children. "I asked then to have a security camera in the classroom," she says. "And they told me that was against the law. So I thought 'I have to change this law.'"

Rideau spent years fighting in court. She remembers it all. "It was horrible -- worse than any movie. During the trial the staff told all of us, including the school's attorney, how my son was mistreated. They kept so many things from me."

It took several sessions of the Texas State Legislature before Rideau finally got her victory. Last June, Senate Bill 507 was signed into law. It requires cameras to be installed in classrooms serving students in special education programs, if a parent writes to the district and asks for one.

special ed class camera
(credit: Breggett Rideau/Facebook)

Rideau says she saw a picture of the camera when it was recently installed in her son's classroom.
"I've been angry and heartbroken over what happened to my son," she says. "But I'm so grateful to have seen this work out. It may not have kept my son from being hurt, but it will help others. And that makes these last several years all right."

Though the bill was passed in 2015, the monitoring and video equipment installation wasn't required until the  2016-17 school year.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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