Carroll ISD employees now prohibited from secretly recording meetings following policy change

Carroll ISD trustee Andrew Yeager
Carroll ISD trustee Andrew Yeager said the policy will help prevent secret recordings from being leaked to the media. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)

Carroll ISD trustee Andrew Yeager said the policy will help prevent secret recordings from being leaked to the media. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)

Carroll ISD trustees approved an amendment to district policy prohibiting employees from secretly recording certain district meetings in an unanimous vote Dec. 13.

First proposed in November, the amendment to DH (LOCAL)—a policy that addresses employee standards of conduct in the district—further clarifies when it is acceptable for staff to make an audio or visual recording of meetings. Gordon Butler, assistant superintendent of student and staff services, described the procedure as a notification and not a consent provision.

"What we're saying is, you can record—but you just have to tell us that you're recording," Butler said.

The amended language added to the policy will read:

“No employee may make an unauthorized audio or visual recording of a conversation or meeting pertaining to district business unless the employee making the recording notified all participants in the conversation or meeting of the recording. An employee making an authorized recording shall ensure that the recording device is located in plain view for the duration of the conversation or meeting. Secret recording shall be prohibited.”


The new language, which goes into effect in the 2022-2023 school year, will not affect recordings involving authorized investigations conducted by district personnel or usually recorded meetings, such as board meetings or grievance hearings.

Butler said several other districts in the area have similar policies or similar language in their employee handbook, including Dallas ISD.

If a teacher or staff is found in violation of the policy, Butler said the human resources department would "have a conversation and depending on what the context is, as far as the violation, then we'll take the necessary steps."

"People made recordings and took them to the media," trustee Andrew Yeager said. "We don't want that to happen and we want there to be a very clear understanding of what the consequences of that are."
By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.