A father in New Jersey was notified by his school that his autistic 10 year old son Akian was violent in his classes. Stuart Chaifetz had never known his son to be violent, so he wanted to know what was happening. He had a meeting with the IEP team. A behaviorist was called in to do a report. Nothing came up that would explain Akian’s outbursts – even when provoked by the behaviorist.
Chaifetz suspected the worst – that his son was being bullied by his teacher. So, he put a wire on him and recorded six hours of audio. It changed Chaifetz’s life.
“What I heard on that audio was so disgusting, vile, and just an absolute disrespect and bullying of my son,” says Chaifetz in a video he posted on his website, “…that happened not by other children, but by his teacher and the aides, the people who are supposed to protect him.”
Chaifetz found that kids were being taunted, told to “shut up,” and bullied. The teacher and aides were engaging in inappropriate conversations in front of the kids. Early on in Chaifetz’s audio findings, he hears a conversation where the teacher and aides are talking about drinking a bottle of wine the night before and throwing up all morning. This is not during a recess break, but during class, in front of the kids.
The class that Akian is in is one where all of the kids are autistic, and most of the kids have communication problems. The kids are not able to report to their parents about everything the teachers and aides talk about – which Chaifetz says in the video is treating the kids as “subhuman.”
Here’s Chaifetz’s video. It’s 17 minutes long, and guaranteed, you will watch the whole thing:
One aide was immediately fired from the school – but another aide and the teacher were simply moved to a different school. Chaifetz doesn’t know why the other aide and teacher weren’t fired, but he refuses to stay silent. “For me to do nothing would mean I was treating my son with as much disrespect as they had,” says Chaifetz. The school itself acted quietly – firing the aide but not telling any other parents what was happening.
With over 2 million views on the video, it’s safe to say that the other parents know.
Chaifetz is not suing the school. He merely wants an apology from the teacher and aides for what they did. If you want to help out Chaifetz and other parents whose children have been bullied by teachers, you can sign Chaifetz’s Change.org petition to pass legislation so that teachers who bully would face immediate termination.