(trigger warning for bullying)
Kickass Dad of the Day: When Stuart Chaifetz learned that his 10-year-old son, Akian, was being violent and disruptive in class, he was puzzled. He knew Akian, who has autism, to be mild-mannered and sensitive, and had a hunch that something more was going on. But after several meetings with a team of school officials created to help special-needs students, nothing changed. So Chaifetz did what any concerned parent would do.
On the morning of Friday, February 17, 2012, I wired my son and sent him to school. That night, when I listened to the audio my life changed forever. I heard my son being bullied by his teacher and aide. 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. His outbursts were his way of expressing that he was being emotionally hurt at school.
The New Jersey father has since launched a website full of damning evidence and a Facebook page, and he is petitioning the state to change legislation so that teachers who bully children are immediately fired. The aide has been fired, but the rest of the staff have merely been relocated.
“I seek a full and public apology from all those adults who were in my son’s class for what they did to him,” Chaifetz says. “It is also far past time that these issues are allowed to be hidden from public view.”
ETA: This is disgusting. I can’t believe teachers would act this way. Its…. horrible and disgusting. And you know, to be fair, there are wonderful and qualified people who are DYING to become teachers for these kids and they can’t AFFORD THE CLASSES to do so? So what do you get? These jaded individuals who don’t actually care at ALL for these children. And then all we hear is that these kids are problems. They’re a disruption. I worked with a child with a learning disorder (I think it was Aspbergers. They did not divulge the information to me. THEY DID NOT TELL ME WHAT THAT CHILD’S DISORDER WAS SO THAT I COULD APPROPRIATELY TEACH HIM AND UNDERSTAND HIS NEEDS.) and he was treated as a problem student. I sat with him and learned that not only was he bright, but he was a wonderful child who loved reading and had problems with math. He needed help with that in a way he would understand and eventually, after the 3 months of working with him, we figured it out and he was doing better. I cannot believe people like THIS have a certification to TEACH. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Having grown up with someone who has autism and was accused of violence in school, this is especially resonant with me. When someone who already has communication difficulties is pushed so far, they literally have no other way to defend themselves than to resort to violence. This is absolutely unacceptable, and I commend this guy for getting proof of this abuse and publicizing it. These abusers shouldn’t be allowed to go unpunished.
This is absolutely fucking unacceptable and heartbreaking. As someone who has passionately considered a career in education, as a resident of the fucking Earth, I am sadly not really shocked but I am none the less angered and horrified on behalf of this little boy.