Stuart Chaifetz wired his 10-year old autistic son and sent him to school to record the verbal abuse by his teachers and other staff. (Watch Stuart Chaifetz YouTube Video Below) He suspected something was “horrifyingly wrong” when notes started coming home from his school, Horace Mann Elementary in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, saying that Akian was having violent outbursts, including him hitting his teacher and aide.
Stuart Chaifetz told ABCNews, “The thing that said to me that something 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.”
Akian had spent six months with behaviorists and specialists to find where the problem was with him hitting his teachers and acting out. The behaviorist created a scenario that would push Akian to his limit and he still didn’t act out violently. Stuart Chaifetz said that’s when, “I realized that there was something terrible going on in that classroom and I needed to know what it was.”
Stuart Chaifetz YouTube Video About Akian Being Humiliated:
On Friday, February 17, 2012, Chaifetz sent Akian to Horace Mann Elementary School with a recorder, concealed in his clothes, so he could find out what those teachers where doing to make Akian act like he did in school.
Stuart Chaifetz says in the video, “On that night, my life changed forever. What I heard on that audio was so disgusting, vile, and just absolute disrespect and bullying of my son. That was not happening by other children, but by the teachers, aides, the people that were supposed to protect him.”
Stuart Chaifetz took the audio to school officials in February and “to their credit, they took immediate action and fired one aide” the same month.
Superintendent Maureen Reussert said in a prepared statement, “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.” She gave no specifics about the workers’ departure.
He made the video because he wants a public apology from the school staff and legislative action regarding student bullying.
According to USA Today, “Three South Jersey legislators called for the dismissal of any school employees found to have verbally abused Akian. The elected officials; state Sen. James Beach and Assembly members Louis Greenwald and Pamela Lampitt, did not address Chaifetz’s desire for legislation in their statement. But they called his allegations “disturbing” and said the school district “should immediately undertake a thorough and rigorous investigation.”
“If it is found that any teacher, aide or other adult staff member engaged in this deplorable abuse, they should be fired immediately,” the legislators said. Beach and Greenwald are Democrats from Voorhees, while Lampitt is a Democrat from Cherry Hill.
School board president Seth Klukoff, “We strongly believe that the district acted swiftly, appropriately and judiciously.” He said the district’s actions “were informed first and foremost by compassion for the students.”
Stuart Chaifetz says, “I really hope this starts a conversation, and I hope people out there who are, who do have the power, can take a breath and say, ‘If this can happen here, then it can happen in every state in every town.’ And as long as we keep this quiet, it will continue to happen.”
Akian, is in a new school environment and doing really well.
Father Records Teachers Bullying His Autistic Child