Stuart Chaifetz Wires 10-year old Autistic Son, Akian to Record Verbal Abuse by Teachers [Video]

Akian Autism Stuart Chaifetz

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

2 Comments on "Stuart Chaifetz Wires 10-year old Autistic Son, Akian to Record Verbal Abuse by Teachers [Video]"

  1. I have also observed physical and emotional abuse against my daughter and other children with disabilities. I agree with previous poster that more funds (and stronger legal protections) are needed for better teacher training. However, we had wonderful special education mandates on the books for years and the federal department of education gave no pentalties for law breaking found in public school sduring monitoring visits. This message, given year after year, is like a green light to schools to withhold needed services to children, putting the burden on families to find an attorney or resign themselves to allowing the harm to be done, with lost educational opportunities. But children are not valued…this is a case of values…and certainly not children with disabilities. Why do we see Oprah, 60 minutes, other media getting on the band wagon to fight “bullying”…and they never mention this happening to children with disabilities? Is it because it is generally accepted that children with disabilities deserve nothing more? I celebrate the work done to change attitudes and to celebrate cultural diversity, and to protect people from gender and racial discrimination. Perhaps with this strong father people will finally begin caring about stopping the bullying of people with disabilities by their non-disabled peers, teachers and the community at large. It is about time!

  2. I have worked in these kinds of classrooms and have seen some great teachers, and also some who really shouldn’t be there. I have worked actively to try to get a first-year teacher on probation NOT hired, but it did not work. The problem is, there are so few teachers willing to work in these classrooms. Hire a bad teacher to keep up teacher-student ratios, or you’re stuck with no one, which is not legally possible. It reminds me of the Catholic church – when there are so few fish to choose from, just move the bad ones around, turn a blind eye when possible. We need to attract better people into this practice, pay them more, choose them wisely, give them more education and training and fund better tools and strategies for use in the classroom. We’re doing the opposite: cutting funding in education, and anything outside the three Rs usually goes first (the arts and special programs). I know what we need to do; I just find the average American taxpayer and government isn’t willing to provide it.

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