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Father Learns His Autistic Son Is Being Bullied By Teacher, Aides After Sending Him To School With a Wire

Society & Culture  (tags: humans, children, autism, bullied, protection, family, environment )

- 2244 days ago -
Stuart Chaifetz, father of an autistic 10-year-old boy named Akian, became alarmed when his son began receiving notes claiming he was being violent in class

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Cher C (1429)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 5:35 am

There is a petition for this at but the site is down right now.


Naoko i (264)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 5:45 am
Just recently a similar incident became known in Japan. A boy with a developmental disorder had been physically bullied by the class teacher and his parents sensed something was wrong when the son started crying at night probablly remembering the days' experiences. The school admitted the abuse, but I don't think their apologizes and countermeasures are enough.

Lindsey Williams (234)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 7:52 am
I read about this yesterday. As I know is, if I found out that a teacher was saying that stuff to my kid- she is getting a SERIOUS beat down.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 9:55 am
signed,autistic children are not bad children,

Naoko i (264)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 4:47 pm
signed the petition

Carol H (229)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 4:57 pm
noted and signed

Past Member (0)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 5:39 pm
we are change
life has value beyond measure
Peace and Love

Carmen S (611)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 6:08 pm
noted, this is so sad, glad the father took action

Pat B (356)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 6:30 pm
I work with Autistic students every day. I love each and every one of my students, and this video,...just broke my heart. The teacher/aide need to have their names released to the public. Immediately. The worse thing a school district can do is to transfer them to another school. The problem is now at another school. I am amazed that they were not fired on site when this video became public. Re-vamp this school, and others (schools), where bullying is paramount every single day for the disabled, handicapped, and children w/disabilities. I have also passed this on to my principal, and staff members where I work to let them listen to this video. We talk about bullying/abuse but honestly, this hits close to the heart, when Akien is being bullied, and starts to cry. God! How cruel for these women to treat any child like this. I am sure this has been EVERY day of this little boy's school life. Unbelievable, and horrific. Cherry HIll, New Jersey is my (old) hometown, I went to Catholic school, but nevertheless, I am horrified to even think something like this happened in one of the schools up there. Thank you, all, and Naoko for your story as well. TY, Cher for this, I got through and DEFINITELY SIGNED this!!! Thanks, all for letting me vent. Grrrrrrrr.....

Warren Osborn (1)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 7:03 pm
Ditto to Lindsey

R. G (12)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 7:47 pm
I an glad this father had his eyes/ears open, whether it was verbal, or little subtle changes that he may have noticed in his child.

Barb K (1688)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 8:25 pm
Saw this on ABC News with Diane Sawyer tonight and last night on Nightline. I can't believe the nerve of some teachers. The accused teacher was quoted as saying: 'sometimes you have a bad day....bad moments happen!' Will sign soon...ty Cher. BTW what an ADORABLE picture!!

Bianca D (87)
Wednesday April 25, 2012, 10:48 pm
Beyond comprehension. They should have their licences to work with children and in the teaching profession revoked. Tx Cher.

pam w (139)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 9:18 am
This is obvious evidence of SERIOUS problems at the school. I wish Akian and his family the best.

Krystal M (36)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 12:14 pm
There's at least one or two other stories just like this. What class of person treats a CHILD like this?! The teachers in question all need to resign or be fired immediately and never again be permitted to work with or around children. There are other teachers better qualified (compassion is the ultimate qualification) to teach children with special needs.

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 12:36 pm
I sent my email to the principal yesterday, demanding that BOTH teachers be fired and that they never be permitted to work near children again. We need to restructure the laws and regulations in this world. Too many people doing too much damage. HERE IS THE EMAIL ADDRESS:
Dear School Principal:

I am appalled and outraged that only one of the two teachers who blatantly humiliated and abused Akian Chaifetz has been fired. Any teacher who taunts or mistreats any child simply must be fired and never allowed to work with children again.

'This is a personnel matter that the school district took seriously and handled appropriately and there will be no further comment,’ Susan Bastnagel, spokesperson for the Cherry Hill School District, told NBC10.
But Chaifetz does not agree. ‘What you did was so disgusting that you should be walking around with your head in shame... And you’re still teaching children today,' he said.

Janet G (0)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 12:42 pm
Gran Pat: I thoroughly agree with you and thank you for speaking the truth.

Debra Van Way (12)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 12:43 pm
GRRRRRRRRRRR! These females need a good swift kick in the rear right out the door, fired, fined and to know they are darn lucky it wasn't my child-their families would still be wondering where that those females vanished to. I would even volunteer to put up the missing posters for them. Signed, noted and commented-gladly.

Past Member (0)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 1:26 pm
There seem to be more and more such cases - or are they getting more publicity? Only a couple of days ago a guy was sent to prison in the UK for slapping and slapping an Alzheimer's patient in a care home. It makes me so distressed. I looked after my Dad during the last two years of his dreadful descent into the darkness of dementia and the thought that, if anything had happened to me and he might've had to go into care, worried me all the time.

Robert O (12)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 1:27 pm
Thanks Cher.

annelies j (71)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 3:01 pm
This teacher does not belong in any school, but specially not in a class room with children who can not even defend themselves against this type of bullying. Shame on them!
It takes a special person to teach children with developmental issues. My sister has been teaching in a school in belgium for many years. Sounds like the US is far behind in specialized education....

Glamour Girlcat (32)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 3:30 pm
Stuart Chaifatz is a hero and Akian Chaifatz is a very fortunate child!

Suing the school would not mean that the case was all about money. It would set a legal precedent and act as a deterrent for future similar situations. It would also teach the perpetrators that their behavior was unacceptable and they were setting a heinous example for every student in the class. A mere apology is not enough.

Playing Musical Teachers solves nothing. It just gives them a chance to select another student at their new location and repeat their crime (yes, it was a CRIME!). These clowns need to be de-frocked, (or whatever it is they do to demote sorry excuses for teachers) and tell the world that they are unfit for a position of authority.

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 6:07 pm
Good for this Father for what he did. I'm not sure who viewed this video in full but it is mind blowing. These teachers should be fired and they should be apologizing. Disgusting how they acted in that classroom with these children. These children suffer enough, they don't need this too. Bravo Dad! I certainly signed.

Rita Walpole A (10)
Thursday April 26, 2012, 8:06 pm
True story: 1975 was the year a sooooo vital special education law was passed at the federal level. The feds demanded that each and every state do at least as well providing each identified as disabled student with fed requirements as the fed dictated. The state could, if they so chose, even provide for the disabled at a higher/better level, and some did.

It was this need to adhere to FAPE (free, appropriate public education) that gave birth, under the demand of numerous parents of kids with autism, myself included, to create an excellent program for meaningfully educating austic kids like Akian. One on one speech/language therapy, sensory integrated occupational therapy (also on a one-on-one basis), behavioral modification (so needed and so effective in ed. and daily living skill acquirement), practical ed. (i.e. survival skills such as hygiene, food prep, housekeeping, safety sign reading and comprehension, job training, socialization skills, etc.), all the while assisting parents in training on how to best assist their autistic child and not fall into "Do Not Label My Child" denial, and insisting on regular classroom ed., often useless as Akian's regular ed. placement appears to be, probably under the guise of 'least restrictive environment, and in reality, a bad money saving device of far too many school districts on a tighter than ever budget today.

My biggest hope for Akian: that his spirited Dad can and will demand FAPE for his son, even if it requires going throught staffing(s), and into a due process hearing. In all the years I spent in admin. law, representing the disabled and their families, I only failed to prevail in one such hearing, and in that one, the middle school attending young man had been burdened with a father who preferred denial re. his son's disability, and insisted on regular classrooms until his acting out due to disability son got into EBD (emotional, behavioral disorder) mode, and began sexually abusing girls in his class.

Jill Waller (15)
Friday April 27, 2012, 9:08 am
Thank you so much to Yvette for providing the school's email address- doing that now.

wendi huffman (4)
Friday April 27, 2012, 1:34 pm
noted & signed!

Past Member (0)
Friday April 27, 2012, 6:43 pm
Sick !

Gary L (138)
Friday April 27, 2012, 10:48 pm
signed and noted disgusting the entire school board should be removed and criminal charges of child abuse brought against them

Lynne Buckley (0)
Saturday April 28, 2012, 5:29 am
What appalling behaviour by the teacher and assistants. All of them should have been sacked. It's disturbing to think that the teacher and an assistant were transferred to another school.

. (0)
Saturday April 28, 2012, 10:38 am
This dad is a class act to the point he is letting Cherry Hill get way way too much. This teacher should not be transferred, she should have immediately been fired, as well as the other aid.
The parents in Cherry Hill need to support this man on this issue, and stand up for him, his son, and the need to have "Kelly" fired.

Terri Hughes (416)
Saturday April 28, 2012, 10:47 am
''SIGNED''.....this is really heartbreaking to know you are sending your child to school, thinking they are getting the help they need and then to learn that they are being treating like this is a disgrace. This teacher and aide SHOULD apologize and they SHOULD be fired and NOT allowed to teach EVER again. But, when you listen to the tape, they are NOT teaching anyway. They are talking about being drunk the night before and having a hangover and throwing up. that the way a teacher and aide should act? Coming in with a hangover and taking it out on the kids, I don't think so. They know these kids have learning disabilities and they can't tell there parents what goes on at school. They are NOT there to teach and HELP these children, they are there talking down and treating the children like the are nothing. A getting paid for it. NOT RIGHT. Something is VERY wrong with this school system to let these two people talk to children like this. And there may be more...who knows. I think all schools should listen in on each class room, over the intercom to make sure the teacher is doing there job. They could do this at random, maybe this would stop a lot of this, if the teachers knew that someone could be listening. It is a shame you have to do things like this, but it is for the protection of the children. If you are a good teacher, you don't have anything to worry about. Something has to be done to protect the children and make sure they are treated right. And like I said the teacher and aide SHOULD be fired and NOT allowed to teach ever again!!!!

mar l ene dinkins (264)
Saturday April 28, 2012, 11:55 am
noted & noted, but this scum should be fired inmediately!!!!!!!!!! something have to be done!!!!!!!!!

M B (62)
Saturday April 28, 2012, 2:26 pm
Signed, and I hope more people will sign, too.

Sue Matheson (79)
Saturday April 28, 2012, 3:04 pm
signed and noted.

Eddie O (95)
Saturday April 28, 2012, 7:49 pm
Hopefully some good will come out of this in that it may deter similar abuse from happening. And, while money isn't at issue here, possibly if a law suit were filed maybe the school, and other schools, would take it more seriously.

g d c (0)
Sunday April 29, 2012, 9:31 am
oh my...

. (0)
Monday April 30, 2012, 5:39 am
Noted, thank you.

Ra Sc (8)
Tuesday May 1, 2012, 4:28 pm
This won't be the first teacher to bully a special needs child. Autistic children are at special risk of being picked on by teachers, because they often have more difficulty reporting the abuse to their parents. And abuse of children who are different in some way tends to be more tolerated. It should not be tolerated.

And yes, teachers will sometimes have bad days. When I used to substitute teach, I had good days and bad days. And I felt bad sometimes when I handled issues less well, because I was having an off day. But I never would have called a child a "bastard" or otherwise lashed out at a child like that. I might yell at a noisy class in general, but to single out a child to be taunted is absolutely not okay. If your days get that bad, then you should find a line of work where your bad days don't involve you abusing children.

JL A (281)
Wednesday May 2, 2012, 5:12 am
what do children learn when they witness a teacher bullying?

Maria Papastamatiou (4)
Wednesday May 2, 2012, 10:50 am
Unbelievable behaviour! These "teachers" should be trained again, if not sent home.

Myron Scott (70)
Wednesday May 2, 2012, 12:37 pm
These teachers and aides probably deserve to be fired. At the very least, they need serious counseling and what used to be called "sensitivity training."

We demand too much of our educational system for the scant, grudging and intermittent support we give them. Not to demand much, however, is to cheat our children and their children.

In large part because of this societal failing, I can understand similar frustration by teachers, for the same reasons as Ra Sc; but like her, can only condemn this bullying. Teachers who don't truly love and RESPECT children are unfit to teach children. These people must either change or go.
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