Parent Gets Evidence of Teachers Bullying Student With Autism
In just five days this video has pulled over a million views. It's long. 17 minutes long. But you need to watch it. If you have a family member with autism, if you know someone with autism, you need to share this with your friends.
It has been my experience that the ignorance that surrounds autism is so prevalent that we fail to see it. I have become numb to some of the ridiculous things that people say about others, who are clearly struggling with autism spectrum disorders. But our kids are not.
The video was recorded by Stuart Chaifetz, about his son, Akian, a ten-year old boy who has Autism. According to Stu, Akian has always been a sweet and non-violent child. Which is why it was distressing to him when notes started coming home from Akian's school, Horace Mann Elementary in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, stating that he was having violent outbursts, including him hitting his teacher and aide
This father KNEW something was wrong. Parents that have autistic kids, know the reactions of their kids. So to get to the bottom of the problems that are obviously setting his son off, he set up his iPhone to record the teachers and the aides in his classroom. What was recorded is shocking. I share this father's outrage, as I have heard things about my own son's teachers (from my son) that boggle my mind. I often wonder if the instructors are more interested in their own power-trip than actually getting results from their students.
As a parent of a kid who has been diagnosed under the autism spectrum, and an adult that deals with my own autism spectrum diagnosis, the video is infuriating. How many adults, teachers, teachers aides, bosses and leaders are doing this? I can only hope that this is an isolated incident.
The Cherry Hill School District issued a statement on it's website that 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."