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Do you agree with the recording of teachers? How about cameras in classrooms?

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:54 PM
  • 44 Replies

Just watched this on the news.

Interesting, to say the least.  While the father was commended for placing the tape recorder in his child's belongings, some feel that it isn't right to tape record some one without their knowledge.  You might get them on a 'bad day'.



New Jersey Autistic Boy Records Teachers' Alleged Abuse

PHOTO: Akian Chaifetz, 10


A New Jersey dad who suspected something was "horrifyingly wrong" at school when his autistic son began acting violently had the boy wear a digital recorder and discovered teachers verbally abusing him.

Stuart Chaifetz, 44, described his 10-year-old son Akian as a "sweet and gentle child" with a penchant for acrobatics and a deep bond with his three dogs.

So Chaifetz said it was totally out of character when he began receiving reports from Horace Mann Elementary School that Akian was hitting his teacher and a teacher's aide.

"The thing that said to me that something horrifyingly wrong was going on was that he was hitting the teacher and the aide. I have never seen him hit anyone. He's just not a violent kid," Chaifetz told

Akian spent six months working with behaviorists and other specialists who were trying to find the problem. Finally, Akian was put in a controlled scenario that pushed him to his limits and, still, he did not lash out violently.

"I realized that there was something terrible going on in that classroom and I needed to know what it was," Chaifetz said.

Chaifetz put a digital recorder in Akian's pocket on a February school day. Akian is in a self-contained autism class with five other students and the device recorded six-and-a-half hours of audio.

Courtesy Stuart Chaifet

When Akian came home from school and Chaifetz listened to the audio, he was shocked by what he heard. "When I listened to what they had done to him, I just shattered inside," Chaifetz said.

Chaifetz heard the teacher and aide calling Akian names, making fun of him, yelling at him and having inappropriate conversations in front of the children.

"The culture was so dysfunctional that an adult felt she could make fun of a child with a disability and nothing would happen to her," Chaifetz said. "If it wasn't captured on the audio, she probably would still be making fun of my son. That's a bully."

Akian, according to Chaifetz, has a tendency to speak softly to himself. When he was doing so in class, a teacher or aide can be heard saying angrily, "Who are you talking to? Nobody. Knock it off." Akian is also told several times to shut his mouth.

After being scolded several times, Akian begins to cry and the administrator said, "Go ahead and scream because guess what? You're going to get nothing until your mouth is shut."

At another point, the teacher or aide calls Akian a "bastard" when he will not stop crying.

"He's the best human being I've ever met and these people were taking it away because they were crushing his spirit," Chaifetz said. "If I had not spoken out and released that video, it would have been like it never happened, except to Akian because it happened to him and he knows it."

Chaifetz took the audio to school officials.

"They were shocked and horrified as I was and I appreciate the fact that they took immediate action and fired one of the aides in the class," he said. "The problem is that they didn't fire the teacher because of tenure and she was moved to another school."

Chaifetz was outraged that the teacher was not fired.

"I don't want her teaching anyone ever again," he said. "She lost her privilege to do that."

The Cherry Hill school district issued a statement on its website regarding the incident, which included the following:



"We strongly believe that the district acted swiftly, appropriately and judiciously with regard to the staff in the classroom," Board of Education President Seth Klukoff wrote. "What's more, we are confident that these decisions were informed first and foremost by compassion for the students."

Superintendent Dr. Maureen Reusche added, "Although this is a personnel matter and there are specifics that I cannot legally address publicly, I want to assure our parents that the individuals who are heard on the recording raising their voices and inappropriately addressing children no longer work in the district and have not since shortly after we received the copy of the recording."

Chaifetz has not been satisfied with the action taken.

"I'm not at war with the school district. I'm fighting the people that actually did this," Chaifetz said. In the video, he identifies the teacher and aide only as Jodi and Kelly. He said he did not want to release their last names and demanded that they come forward to publicly apologize. He has not heard from them.

"You don't hurt my son and get away with it, but that's what they were doing," he said. "They told me, 'It's a personnel matter and we can't talk about it.' Well, you can't talk about it, but I can. I'm not going to keep this a secret."

An outraged Chaifetz took to the Internet to defend his son and draw awareness to the issue.

He posted a video on YouTube called "Teacher/Bully: How My Son Was Humiliated and Tormented by his Teacher and Aide" on April 20. The video now has more than 210,000 hits and counting.

Chaifetz also created a Facebook page called No More Teacher Bullies and built a website with his story and the audio he recorded. He has found comfort in hundreds of emails and phone calls from supporters all over the world.

He hopes to lobby for legislation to fire any teacher who bullies a student, regardless of tenure or any other union restrictions.

"One part of this was to reclaim my son's dignity. He'll need closure one day," Chaifetz said. "I want him to know that he mattered. He was defended and he was loved."

Chaifetz is the most recent parent to catch a teacher mistreating a child with a disability.

In March, two Alabama teachers were put on administrative leave after the mother of 10-year-old Jose Salinas, who has cerebral palsy, attached an audio recorder to the bottom of his wheelchair and caught them scolding him about drooling, among other things.

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song." ~ Maya Angelou

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:54 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Ruby Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:55 PM

 150% in support.


by Platinum Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:56 PM
3 moms liked this

I think it fine.

Even if you get someone on thier worst day they have no right to treat a child that way.

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:59 PM

I think teachers should expect that their class is always subject to monitoring.  

by TC on Apr. 25, 2012 at 8:59 PM

I imagine it would make actually evaluating a teacher and his/her skills much easier.  

I worked in a daycare once that had video cameras.  They told us up front about it, before we had even accepted a position.

~I ain't happy but, I'm feeling glad I got sunshine, in a bag I'm useless, but not for long The future is coming on~

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:03 PM
2 moms liked this
The father had suspicions that were obviously founded. I support him.
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by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:03 PM
1 mom liked this
I agree.

Quoting katy_kay08:

I think teachers should expect that their class is always subject to monitoring.  

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by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:04 PM

I think people will support until it can show what a total asshat you are in the classroom or what a complete fuckwad your kid is.

by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:06 PM
1 mom liked this

I would be good with finding out that my kid was being a "fuckwad".   This is not behavior I would excuse and it certainly wouldn't take a recording to get action from me.  

Quoting Tanya93:

I think people will support until it can show what a total asshat you are in the classroom or what a complete fuckwad your kid is.

by Bronze Member on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:07 PM
Lol my district would never allow it, for then parents would witness the horrid behavior issues us teachers are forced to deal with in certain students. I'd love a camera in my room. Things would have to change then.
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by JRM on Apr. 25, 2012 at 9:10 PM
2 moms liked this
Then don't have bad days. Leave the bad day at the school door entrance when you get to work because if I find out that a teacher tormented my child s/he'd really have a bad day.
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