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Raising Special Needs Kids Raising Special Needs Kids

Dad's Horrifying Undercover Recordings Catch Teachers Bullying His Autistic Son (VIDEO)

Posted by on Apr. 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM
  • 21 Replies

Dad's Horrifying Undercover Recordings Catch Teachers Bullying His Autistic Son (VIDEO)

Posted by Julie Ryan Evans

Stuart ChaifetzStuart Chaifetz said he knew something was wrong when his 10-year-old son Akian started acting out school. Akian has autism, but had always been "sweet and non-violent." So when things took a turn, his dad said he wanted to find out why.

When meetings with school officials at his Cherry Hill, N.J., school and therapists failed, he took action into his own hands. He wired Aikan and sent him to school. The six hours of audio he recorded confirmed his worst fears.  

He says his son was "verbally tormented and humiliated" and he's launched an aggressive campaign online to bring awareness to the case. In a 17-minute YouTube video, he outlines just what happened and plays some of damning audio clips. From one of the teachers calling Akian a "bastard" to the yelling and demeaning tone of voice they use toward the children, it's pretty tough to hear.


After taking the tape to the school board, one aide was fired, but the two others heard on the tape (an aide and a teacher) were not. He doesn't think that's good enough and has started an online petition for their dismissal and the dismissal of any teacher who treats children in such a manner.

No child should have to suffer humiliation at the hands of the people who are supposed to protect them. When a teacher bullies a child, especially one with Special Needs, they need to be immediately fired. No excuses. No second chances. No more teacher/bullies.

Sadly bullying is a major problem for autistic children (one recent study found that 63 percent report having been bullied), so when teachers -- who are supposed to care for and nurture students -- add to the pain, it's unthinkable. But clearly, based on this and plenty of other examples we see, it happens. Bravo to Stuart Chaifetz for taking such aggressive action to help stop it.

He doesn't want money; he says he's not going to file a lawsuit. He simply wants to reclaim some of his son's dignity and stop teachers from bullying some of the most vulnerable students. Who can argue with that?

Do you find this dad's actions brave? Are you outraged over the audio he caught and the way his son was treated?

by on Apr. 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mandee1503
by Amanda on Apr. 24, 2012 at 12:55 PM
1 mom liked this

That's awful! Those two adults need to be held accountable, and if firing them sets the example, then that's what needs to happen. It's stories like this that really make me not want to send my ds to school.

jjamom
by Michele on Apr. 24, 2012 at 1:32 PM
These stories just burn me up! Ugh! Why? Why are these people working with children? Why are they working with children with special needs? I think they enjoy being able to humiliate them and get away with it because they know these children cannot speak up and defend themselves. Something has to be done about this. For anyone who has a child who is non-verbal or has limited verbal abilities, they are more at risk of abuse than any other child. This video was hard to watch, but really worth the time to watch the entire thing. I really think they need to have camera in these classrooms. I believe my son is safe and well taken care of at school, but it only takes one nasty individual (in this case 2 or 3) and your child is at risk. Sign the petition!
mommy2b39465
by on Apr. 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM
1 mom liked this

if I were the school, I would fire all 3, because even if they weren't doing the bullying themselves they were in a position to stop it and they didn't.

Derari
by on Apr. 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM
This is heartbreaking.
sayres
by on Apr. 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM
This is just terrible and very very scary!
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Elyssa414
by Elyssa on Apr. 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM
That made me sick to my stomach. :(
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darbyakeep45
by Darby on Apr. 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Wow...amazing...

CameronsMommy23
by on Apr. 24, 2012 at 5:31 PM
How sad! He handled it well, I don't think I would be able to keep from going to the school and chewing them out!
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FoxxyMama1
by Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 7:51 AM
3 moms liked this

This is our school district.  Not my son's school but I called the caseworker at his school and told her that she had damn well make sure that none of those aids end up in my son's classroom or with my son.

1plce4spclneeds
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Thank you for sharing that story.  Sadly this is not an isolated incident as monthly I come across a story from some other state with a bully teacher.  There needs to be major reform to remove these teachers from being in contact with children.

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