Teacher took video of my ADHD/ODD kid... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Teacher took video of my ADHD/ODD kid having an episode


My son's 3rd grade teacher has been taking video of him during his angry episodes and has played at least one of them back to him to show him how bad he is. Is this even legal? What can I do? I am so angry and upset. I can't stop crying. Any thoughts?

23 Replies

Wow, I am so sorry you are dealing with this. It is definitely not legal for anyone to take video or photos of your child on their personal electronics without parent consent. You need to report this immediately and make sure you do it in writing because this will pressure them to take action. I would suggest emailing the principal and CC assistant principal, counselor and teacher in question.

Big hugs for this hard situation. In order for us teachers to photo or video we must have written consent ( I even think it states that it also has to be for educational purposes also) from parent or guardian.

Even if the teacher did not know this is a policy ( some are not told this) there needs to be something in writing stating you do not permit it. I think you should schedule an appt. Immediately with the principal ( unless you want to take it higher) and have it in writing.

I am so sorry!

We are here to support you in whatever you need.

Thank you for responding. I am having a difficult time finding the policy that states this. Do you know if this is this a district, state, or federal level policy?

Please send me a message with your private email and I can send you want I find.

The goal of reporting this is that you not only want her to stop and erase, but you want all teachers to understand the policy is you must get prior consent. I am not sure you can make this happen with just the school principal.

Does you child have a 504 plan or an IEP? If so then I encourage you to reach out to the leaders to make district wide change.

I will get you what you need.

Again. Big hugs sometimes it is important to advocate for all of us and our own child.

Take care.

Thanks for the reply, unfortunately I live in KY. We do not have as robust protections built into our laws. He does have an IEP. I believe I am going to send a letter to the principle, guidance counselor, and Special Ed director. I will escalate to the superintendent depending on the response. Thanks again! Sometimes it just helps to know I am not crazy in my expectations.

Here is the ed code for CA:

California Education Code 51512 – The Legislature finds that the use by any person, including a pupil, … ... Any person, other than a pupil, who willfully violates this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any pupil violating this section shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Not sure what state you are in. But their is precedent.

Take care,

I do not believe that is okay. I know my son's school district gave me a paper asking for permission to video tape my son. I did not sign. I'm guessing since I had a form, you should have too!

in reply to Cjkchamp

The only form that was sent was in regards to student's academic work. This was definitely not academic!

in reply to Dsmith05

Sounds like a call to the district office may be in order..

That is unacceptable I would definitely make a complaint

I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. No way is she aloud to do such a thing. Absolutely take this to the highest level. It’s hard enough for our kids and their daily struggles. This is such a shaming and demeaning thing to do to him. I feel for him. I hope your son is ok and understands he did nothing wrong , she did.

I wish teachers would understand that ADHD is not a voluntary condition.

Sending you much love and strength.

You got this.

in reply to 555jms

Thank you! It is feels really good to have the support. I did report her and I put in my email how he did not choose to have a disability and that she should not take it personally. I really feel like it is part of that school culture. There is this constant focus on skids with disabilities need to act like they don't have any disabilities or be punished.

He has an IEP? I would call an attorney. That is horrible. So sorry

There are federal laws that control I.E.P's it doesn't make any difference what state you live in.

What kind of teacher does that? 😠

Please report her and have her apologize to you and your child. And, ask for your son to be placed in another classroom.

Unbelievable! Hang in there 🙏

I reported her and the principal handled the matter seriously but no apology. She even had the audacity to tell my son that she was "protecting herself"!

WHAT?! No. Definitely escalate. So sorry you are going through this.

I agree with all the others and you that this is wrong. I would just suggest that you use a soft approach because the reality is that unless you get the teacher fired (which won't be good for anyone) you have to have the teacher on your child's side the rest of the year. So I would put this in terms of "thank you for caring enough for my child that you are trying something unusual to change his behavior" but I think this may do more harm than good, especially since it is probably illegal, but more so because it won't work and is stigmatizing even more than his behavior. I do suggest the teacher be trained in the Pax Good Behavior Game, a teaching technique that has been proven to be effective in reducing classroom disruptions in the short term, and improving lifetime behaviors in the long term.


With the PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX for short), Children and adults who care about them in school, at home, and in the community are the heroes of making the world better, and bettering themselves.

The PAX Good Behavior Game is based on multiple “gold standard” studies of classrooms and teachers in the US, Canada, and Europe. PAX GBG may be the most effective strategy a teacher can currently use in his or her classroom to protect children from lifetime mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders while also increasing lifetime academic success.

Everything in PAX was invented by teachers at one time or another, and then tested by fire by some of the world’s best prevention or behavioral scientists. You will find references for replicated scientific studies—most of which can be found at pubmed.gov (the National Library of Medicine). Only one of the hundreds of studies related to the tools in PAX GBG is by the developers of PAX GBG. The science is truly worldwide, spanning the United States, Canada, several European Countries, Africa, and findings from First Nations or Tribes. There are more scientific studies about the components of PAX GBG than virtually any other universal prevention strategy for classrooms.

NIDA Notes. “Behavior Game Played in Primary Grades Reduces Later Drug-Related Problems.” Volume 23, Number 1, April 2010. National Institute on Drug Abuse.


Pax GBG is now available on line from Paxis Institute, Tucson, AR.

I wished I could convince them to do this but I have a hard enough time getting the teacher to do basic accommodations! The school he is at is very focused on punishing bad behaviors. I have mentioned repeatedly how he responds really well to positive reinforcement and have asked about them implements PBIS(Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) in the school. So far no luck but I am going to keep pushing. Maybe eventually it will become the kind of environment that welcomes the idea of using PAX.

Thank you for your message, even when a teacher is trying something they feel works... educating them as to why it is wrong ( and illegal) is the best approach.

We need all teachers, but only when they support them in a positive way. It is often harder for teachers to figure out how to help children who are struggling.

It’s illegal unless you consented to it in writing or verbally (on the recording). A child cannot consent. It’s possibly a felony under voyeurism laws. That said, the teacher sounds massively incompetent & maybe even cruel. Can you switch to a different teacher? We switched our son to a charter school when we experienced negative reinforcement styles at his public school. He’s doing WAY better. Even if she never does it again, it’s a huge red flag that she’s not equipped to handle special needs. I’d pull him ASAP if possible

in reply to Mmagusin

Unfortunately where I am at we have no other school options. : ( I often think about moving somewhere that has more services and opportunities for kids like mine. Maybe someday!

Thank you everyone for your support! I always worry that I am overreacting and it is so nice to know that others feel the same way. I did email the principal and copied the special ed director on it. He took the matter seriously and spoke with the teacher. He assured me the video was deleted and that it would not happen again. However, the teacher in question did tell my son the next day that she was "protecting herself". Not sure what she means by that but I do not feel like there is any real remorse on her end. I hate school so much that I dread everyday what may happen to him. I ma so glad to be a part of this group. I do not know how I could handle this all on my own without you peeps support, love, and guidance!

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