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Adult bullies….. teacher bullies  
Posted: 26 April 2012 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]
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There is so much attention to school children being bullies that I think it’s time (and I noted this as well in ‘off topic chit chat’ that I learned, over a period of time just a short while ago that people my age [seniors over 60 years] were bullies, trolls and downright cruel).  I was angered (yet again….see I shouldn’t read or watch ANYTHING) that these teachers ...  There is also a video in the middle and at the base of the article.

http://shine.yahoo.com/team-mom/stuart-chaifetz-secretly-tapes-autistic-son-school-discovers-220500111.html

Stuart Chaifetz Secretly Tapes His Autistic Son at School, Discovers He’s Being Bullied by Teachers

When his 10-year-old son, Akian, started getting into trouble at school, Stuart Chaifetz was stunned. The notes from Horace Mann Elementary School in Cherry Hill, N.J., said that Akian, who has autism, was having violent outbursts and hitting his teacher and his aide—behavior that the boy had never exhibited before.

“I could not understand why this was happening,” Chaifetz, a 44-year-old animal rights activist in New Jersey, wrote on his website. “I had never witnessed Akian hit anyone, nor could I dream of him lashing out as had been described to me.”

In October 2011, he met with Akian’s teachers and school therapists. A behaviorist was called in, but during several classroom visits he didn’t see Akian become violent. “He tried to create a scenario that would push Akian so far that he would lash out,” Chaifetz explained. “And Akian did not.”

“If Akian was pushed and didn’t do anything, what was setting him off?” his dad wondered. After six months of meetings yielded no answers, he decided that he needed to know what was happening in his son’s class. Like Akian, all of the other kids in his class also have autism, and complications from the disorder prevent them from being able to communicate to their parents about what goes on in the classroom.

“The morning of February 17, I put a wire on my son, and I sent him to school,” Chaifetz says in a video he created to showcase the audio clips. “What I heard on that audio was so disgusting, vile, and just an absolute disrespect and bullying of my son, that happened not by other children, but by his teacher, and the aides—the people who were supposed to protect him. They were literally making my son’s life a living hell.”

The recordings are raw and intense. Angry adults yell at kids to “shut up,” “shut your mouth,” and “knock it off.” Adults have inappropriate personal conversations in front of the children, discussing how drunk they were the night before, complaining about their husbands, and talking in detail about adult issues. More than once, an adult goads Akian to the point of tears—and then laughs at him.

“Go ahead and scream,” one adult hisses menacingly at Akian. “Because guess what? You’re going to get nothing… until your mouth is shut.”

And later: “Oh, Akian, you are a bastard.”

“The six and a half hours of audio I had proved that my son wasn’t hitting the teacher because there was something wrong with him—he was lashing out because he was being mocked, mistreated and humiliated,” Chaifetz writes on his website, No More Teacher/Bully. “His outbursts were his way of expressing that he was being emotionally hurt at school.”

Chaifetz gave the entire six-and-a-half-hour recording to the Cherry Hill School district (you can hear more of the clips here). One aide, Jodi Sgouros, was fired. Another aide and the teacher, whom the Collingswood Patch identifies as Kelly Altenburg, were reassigned but not fired.

“I don’t know why the teacher wasn’t fired,” Chaifetz writes on his blog. “Maybe the District had no choice; perhaps tenure or HR regulations did not permit them to do so. I know that they were sincere and shocked when they found out what happened. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in this.”

On Tuesday, officials at the Horace Mann School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, directed calls from Yahoo! Shine to the Cherry Hill School District’s offices; a call to a spokesperson there was not immediately returned. Cherry Hill Public School District spokesperson Susan Bastnagel told the Collingswood Patch on Tuesday only that the incident is “an internal personnel matter that the district took seriously and handled appropriately.”

Chaifetz disagrees, and has started a Facebook page and launched a petition at Change.org calling for the teacher’s dismissal. He’s already gathered nearly 18,500 signatures. “No one who treats children like that, who calls them vicious names, who humiliates them, who batters them verbally, deserves to be a teacher,” Chaifetz says in the video.

“How is it possible that teachers and staff can do these things, and you have evidence—not just accusations, but evidence—and they’re still teaching?” he said in an interview with Babble.com. To me, that’s the bigger outrage here. How many times has this happened before? How many times will it happen again if I remain quiet?”

For his part, Chaifetz says that what he really wants from the teacher and aides involved is a public apology and a willingness to take responsibility for their actions.

“I want an apology, not for me, but so one day I can play this video back for my son and say Akian, you didn’t deserve anything that happened to you,” he says in the video. “I’m not going to sue anybody. I’m not going to file a lawsuit. It’s not about money. It’s about dignity. This is to reclaim my son’s dignity.”

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Posted: 26 April 2012 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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After thinking about this story for a while ... and reading some of the comments on the original story, I have come to the thought that these kinds of stories do harm to my spirit.  They make me want to do violent things to certain involved parties.  They make me want to hate.  And that is never a good thing.

I agree the teacher should have been fired along with any assistants that were complicit in harming these children.  Period. (With possible jail time… and… and…) I’ll stop there. downer

I try to stay away from most media nowadays as well, Huli.  This country has become so divided because the media seem to delight in featuring stories intended to cause us to feel fear, or hate.  Like working in a slaughterhouse de-sensitizes one to gore and death, watching the media desensitizes us to looking at our fellow person as just that, a person. They have their own hopes and dreams and loves and likes. (And dislikes.) Most are just different, not inherently wrong.

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Posted: 26 April 2012 02:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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daveprime - 26 April 2012 02:44 PM

I agree the teacher should have been fired

at

along with any assistants that were complicit in harming these children.

 

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Posted: 27 April 2012 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I couldn’t watch the whole video. It seemed too disturbing.

I’m just glad these people were exposed.  I don’t see why one of them didn’t get fired.

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Posted: 27 April 2012 02:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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There is likely a ‘process’ by which such bad apples are removed, that has to be followed. Outright firing someone (as opposed to laying off, or simply saying ‘you’re off the schedule’) generally requires a /legally/ defensible reason. If the kid’s dad presses charges, which I can’t imagine he won’t, then the school board will have a much better position for firing them. Otherwise, the teachers can sue the school district. It’s messed up, but it’s the way things are set up, ostensibly to protect the employees.

Still though, there is the lovely schadenfreunde moment of such people realizing that the crap has just hit the fan while they were enjoying the breeze. This will not turn out well for them at all.

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Posted: 27 April 2012 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Robin Bobcat - 27 April 2012 02:45 AM

There is likely a ‘process’ by which such bad apples are removed, that has to be followed. Outright firing someone (as opposed to laying off, or simply saying ‘you’re off the schedule’) generally requires a /legally/ defensible reason. If the kid’s dad presses charges, which I can’t imagine he won’t, then the school board will have a much better position for firing them. Otherwise, the teachers can sue the school district. It’s messed up, but it’s the way things are set up, ostensibly to protect the employees.

Still though, there is the lovely schadenfreunde moment of such people realizing that the crap has just hit the fan while they were enjoying the breeze. This will not turn out well for them at all.

Yes, of course “the process”. Hopefully they’ll wind up being flung out and dumped on their backside in the end.

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Posted: 27 April 2012 09:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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It seems that the teacher is saying that she wasn’t even actually there.  So investigations are still ongoing.

NJ teacher calls bullying claims ‘disingenuous’

The former teacher of a schoolboy diagnosed with autism, who is accused by the child’s father of mistreating the student, has called the allegations “disingenuous,” saying she wasn’t there when the alleged classroom incident took place.

The father, Stuart Chaifetz, said he put a recording device on his 10-year-old son, Akian, and recorded school staff in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, making what he described as inappropriate comments during class.

Teacher Kelly Altenburg said through her attorney Friday that she “does not condone any such remarks.”

“This language was not used at her direction, in her presence or with her knowledge,” according to the statement.

Chaifetz launched a website and a YouTube video on Monday to publicize portions of more than six hours of recordings of what he says are teachers and aides talking about alcohol and sex in front of the class, punctuated by yelling at his son to “shut your mouth.”

School authorities said in a statement Friday that they are “continuing to investigate what occurred in the classroom in question.”

“Since the evidence presented is audio only, it is imperative that the improper conduct identified on the recording is correctly identified to the person(s) who committed the conduct,” the statement said.

Altenburg said she had been attending an hour-long meeting when the recordings were made and was not in the room when Akian was allegedly told to “shut up,” among other comments.

“There is no basis, either legal or truthful, for Mrs. Altenburg to be held accountable for the language or alleged words and actions of others, which may have taken place within her classroom, but which occurred outside of her presence and without her knowledge,” her statement said.

Chaifetz responded by saying Altenburg is culpable because the incident occurred in her class.

“This was an all-day situation and it was not limited to the first hour,” he added.

Chaifetz said he put the wire on Akian in an attempt to find out why staffers at his son’s school had reported that the boy had been acting out and hitting his teachers. It was unlike his son to misbehave and hit his teachers, he said, though he had difficulty getting answers from Akian because he struggles with speaking.

“He wasn’t able to come home and say, ‘Dad, they called me a name today.’”

At one point in the recording, an adult female voice can be heard saying, “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 first woman responds. “The wine won.”

Chaifetz also said his son can be heard screaming and crying in the recording.

He said he reached out to school officials to report the alleged actions of the teachers shortly after he heard them.

“The school district was as horrified as I was,” he said.

In an online statement, Cherry Hill Public Schools Superintendent 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 since shortly after we received the copy of the recording,” she said.

Chaifetz says he wants an apology from the teachers and claims that one of them apparently has been transferred to a local high school in the same district.

Altenburg’s attorney, Matthew B Wieliczko, said that his client was initially transferred to another school in the district. She is currently on leave, he said.

School officials declined to comment on personnel issues.

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Posted: 28 April 2012 01:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Well it should be easy to figure out exactly who was speaking thru voice analysis.  That would provide more ammo for the lawyers.

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Posted: 28 April 2012 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Ah yes, the old “I don´t know were my fingerprint came from, someone must have planted it.” defence.
Or in this case “no dna, no case”.

hrmpff

 

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Posted: 28 April 2012 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Dave I have to mightily agree.  I am too emotionally impressed by some things so I have to be careful.  It has become very clear to me now, knowing I’m not unique at all, that some story-telling is aimed toward demographics such as you and me just so they will incite and inflame.

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