Stuart 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.
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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?
Image via YouTube