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Special Ed Student Films NJ Teacher Bullying Him

Special Ed Student Films NJ Teacher Bullying Him

Another special education teacher has been caught on tape bullying a student with disabilities. 15-year-old Julio Artuz, who has ADHD and emotional issues, had been telling his parents since the school year started that his teacher at Bankbridge Regional School in southern New Jersey was bullying him. His mother, Joyce McCormick-Artuz, thought he was exaggerating, until her son showed her a cell phone video he’d made in which the teacher, identified by the family as Steven Roth, was verbally abusing Julio in October.

The teacher even labeled Julio a “tard.”

A transcript of what Roth said leaves me, as the parent of a teenage boy in special education, asking what he was doing teaching special education students and teaching, period.

On the video, Julio asked the teacher to stop calling him “special” several times, provoking an outburst from Roth, who could not immediately be reached for comment.

“What? Oh my God. F***ing– … What does the title on the front of that school say?” Roth asked. “Special education.”

“Don’t call me special,” Julio said again.

“What would you like me to call you, Jules?”

“Normal! Just don’t call me special,” Julio said.

“Tard,” Roth responded. “You want me to call you normal and you don’t even know what it is!”

The video also seems to show Roth physically intimidating Julio, as the teacher walked up to the student and stood right in front of him. In the next exchange, Julio had seemed to be referring to a time when he no longer would need to be in a separate school for special education students. But Roth seems to have taken Julio’s words to mean otherwise.

“You said when you get out of school you’re gonna do something,” Roth said. “What are you going to do?”

“No, I didn’t. Get out of my face!” Julio said.

“You didn’t say that?” Roth asked. “You didn’t say when you get out of school you’re gonna do something?”

Julio answered: “I said when I get out of this school — what you gonna say then?”

“There ain’t gonna be nothing you’re gonna ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever do,” said Roth.

Roth not only denigrated Julio’s abilities, but then said something even more disturbing, if that’s possible.

“I will kick your a** from here to kingdom come until I’m 80 years old. You’ll never be able to beat me, dude. What are you gonna do? Get a chopper and chop me?”

Julio’s mother says that Roth, who had been working at the school for eight years, has been suspended with pay. After the incident in October, Julio was bullied by other students and, as of last week, his parents have taken him out of the the Gloucester County Special Services school district and are searching for a private school.

Prior to this, at a meeting with Roth and the school’s principal, McCormick-Artuz said that Roth again spoke in disturbing ways about teaching special ed students (“I’ve got to stand up for myself — these kids are hard kids,” Roth said). The principal avoided looking at the video and just “tried to make excuses.”

What’s even more appalling about Julio’s treatment and the teacher’s and the Gloucester County Special Service school district’s inadequate response is that this school year started with New Jersey passing what has been touted as a very tough anti-bullying law. The law mandates a strict timetable for school staff to report allegations of bullying — this must be done within one day – and yet here’s a too-clear instance of a teacher bullying, verbally abusing and even mocking one of his students, and a student with disabilities. It’s a sad state we’re in if we have to create anti-bullying legislation not only for students, but for school staff and teachers.

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Special Ed Aide’s Bullying of Student Caught on Tape

School Officials Wary of Tough New Antibullying Law in New Jersey

Violence Against Children With Disabilities: Underreported and Common

 

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90 comments

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10:41AM PST on Dec 24, 2011

I don't have any doubts about how taugh is being a special education teacher but if it's too hard for you, just don't be, do something else. There are no excuses for that kind of behaviour in a teacher supossed to be there to help these kids. Hope Julio is feeling alright now.

2:15AM PST on Dec 18, 2011

Until they FORCE schools to STOP just passing these people on to the next school or suspending with pay ( happens aaaaaalot), nothing changes. Pretty sure other teachers hate this guy and can't get them out of there either. I can say this as a former teacher who, with other teachers, fought the system and was ignored.

11:16PM PST on Dec 3, 2011

The parents ignored it as "exaggerated"? Where are the criminal charges for threatening a child? Where are the child welfare workers? This sociopath of a "teacher" got suspension with pay? Wow, great use of taxpayers dollars.

8:59PM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Some of the worse bullies are the teachers and children learn from that. The coward of a principal did not want to look at the video and just made excuses and then the teacher got a paid vacation. See the problem????

9:57AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

What this teacher did was bullying, there is no other word that describes what he did. And, other students saw it and picked on the child after. What good does it do to suspend someone with pay? Whoopie, he gets to sit home and draw a paycheck, doesn't seem like a punishment to me at all. He should be fired and his license should be revoked, period. He made a choice to be a special Ed. teacher and with that choice comes the knowledge it will be hard on so many levels. If you cannot handle how the children act then do not teach them.
What it all comes down to is another story of a teacher abusing a child. I personally would not stop until this jackass were fired if Julio were my child. Life is hard enough without grownups picking on you as well.
Such a sad story and yet, not so uncommon these days!!!

8:33PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Awful! How could Mr. Roth have ever made it through the hiring process? Since when has it become acceptable to use language and behavior of the gutter in the classroom?? Doesn't it make sense that those hiring teachers for special needs children should be even more selective when vetting potential candidates?

12:55AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

If this were my kid, that clown Roth would be facing far more serious problems than a paid suspension.

3:46PM PST on Nov 20, 2011

unbelievable....why even become a teacher then???

2:15PM PST on Nov 20, 2011

What a sick soul!!!

4:51AM PST on Nov 20, 2011

We need cameras in all schools in every classroom! This problem is systemic and worldwide.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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