CNN REPORTING 25/4/2012
A New Jersey man has launced a website to publicize what he calls ‘a culture of bullying’ by teachers in his son’s Cherry Hill classroom after sending the boy – who has been diagnosed with autism – to school with a covert recording device.
Stuart Chaifetz said he placed the recorder in the pocket of his ten-year-old-son, Akian, in an attempt to find out why staffers at Horace Mann Elementary School had reported that the boy had been acting out and hitting his teachers.
What surfaced was more than six hours of recordings of what he says are teachers and aides apparently talking about alcohol and sex in front of the class, punctuated by yelling at his son to “shut your mouth.”
Chaifetz posted the recording online Monday, which has since led to disciplinary actions, including the removal of at least one teacher, school officials said.
At one point, an adult female voice can be heard saying the the recording, “I had a bottle of wine with my girlfriend last night.” The second female voice asks if she spent the morning “heaving.”
“Oh my God, so bad,” the woman responds. “The wine won.”
Chaifetz said he reached out to school officials to report the alleged actions of the teacher and her aides.
“The school district was as horrified as I was,” he said.
In an online statement, Cherry Hill Public Schools superintendent, Dr. Maureen Reusche said that the district investigated the recordings and responded swiftly and appropriately. “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 done so since; shortly after we received a copy of the recording,” she said.
Chaifetz – who said he didn’t think the disciplinary action went far enough – posted a video on YouTube of himself denouncing the incident, interspersed with the recordings. He also launced a website called “No More Teacher/Bullies” with additional audio clips of the incident.
He said his son can be heard screaming and crying in the recording. He said it was unlike his son to misbehave and hit his teachers though he had difficulty getting answers from Akian because he struggles with speaking. My son wasn’t able to come home and say, “Dad, they called me a name today.
Chaifetz wants an apology from the teachers and claims one of them apparently has been transdferred to a local high school in the same district. CNN cannot independently confirm that claim.
School officials said they would not comment on personal issues.
COULD SOMETHING LIKE THIS BE HAPPENING IN OTHER SCHOOLS OF THIS KIND?