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Not Just Another Post About Bullying

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How would you feel if your child was being bullied at school?  When I ask that, I mean your child with autism, who is minimally verbal.  How do you feel now?  Now imagine your child suddenly starts acting out aggressively at school, with no prior history of that kind of behavior.

It would be pretty upsetting, I imagine.

What if you found out your child was being called a “bastard” and told to “shut his mouth”?

Me?  I’d feel a burning rage hotter than a thousand suns.

But wait.  It’s not another child saying those things to your kid.

It’s his teacher.  And his teacher’s aide.

Feel sick yet?

We would never, ever stop until those people were held accountable, would we?  The very people entrusted with the care and nurturing of children that are already vulnerable, children with special needs, are the ones to violate that sacred trust and cause HARM to those children.

This really did happen.  It happened in Cherry Hill School District in New Jersey, to a little boy named Akian.  You see, the reason we know these things happened is because his dad sent him to school with a wire.  He was so desperate to get to the bottom of things, he had to resort to wiring his child to get answers.  What he got was hours of recorded evidence of the teachers having inappropriate conversations and bullying his son.

The teacher DID NOT GET FIRED.  The aide was dismissed, but the teacher was moved to another school.  Case closed.

Not for Akian’s dad.  He has put together a video that includes the actual recordings taken that day at school.  He has also put together a website.

He is not suing for money.  He is asking for a public apology from those teachers, to his son.  He is asking for the teacher’s resignation.

He is asking for his son’s dignity.

Please watch the video.  It’s about 15 minutes long.

Here is the website where you can sign a petition:

The video has made it’s way around, and caught the attention of Jillsmo, who is not looking for any recognition from this.  She put up a post and link to the video on Facebook.  I happened to click the link and watched the video.

Now, we are asking that fellow bloggers from the autism community put up a post about this horrible case of teacher bullying.  We want this to get noticed.  I want to see media attention.

Personally, I want every teacher and administrator throughout this country to know that parents of special needs kids are watching, and we will rally together to call for accountability of all school personnel involved in bullying, or covering up bullying. 

As you read this, I ask you to put up a post on your blog.

For Akian.

For your children.  And mine.


Editors note:  This post may be copied in its entirety and reprinted elsewhere, without credit to the author.  It must, however, contain links to Stuart Chaifetz’s website and video.



About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

18 responses »

  1. God. Did you read my latest post yet? Read it and know that I stand behind Akian and his family. I’ll make sure to rally the troops. This is just sick. All of it. I’m tired of the BAD.

  2. When we send our kiddos, (NT, verbal, autistic, non-verbsl, whatever…) we do so, albiet relucantly often, with the hope and trust that the school staff will treat our children with dignity, and at the very least, maintain a minimum of safety. All too often, we find out otherwise. The rage and fear that stories like this instill in us, especially as parents of special needs children, is like a tsunami wave. And like that wave, I hope this will gather speed, force and the attention of the world.

    I’ll be posting this and doing my part to make EVERYONE aware of this travesty.

    • Thanks Kelly! I probably should have written that it’s unacceptable to treat ANY child that way, because it is. It’s just that they couldn’t have gotten away with it with “typical” children because those children would have been able to tell someone what was going on.

      Thankfully, this seems to be getting a lot of attention.

  3. My Asperger's Teen

    Thank you for sharing this! I just posted about a traumatic experience my son had with a teacher, one that has affected him for life. People don’t realize the damage they can inflict on kids, especially those with special needs, and it makes me absolutely sick to know that the people who are supposed to support and encourage our kids are sometimes the ones abusing them.

  4. Thank you for this post. I did see Jill’s FB status but did not read it yet. On my way now. And you can be sure I will do a post as well. I was filled with tears when I watched the video. This father – I can only imagine what he’s been through – and now I noticed that he’s had to remove comments from the video?! How many crazies are there in the world? Unbelievable. How can there be trust? So unbelievable, eye-opening, and so, so sad.

    • Yes, truly a horrible situation. What’s most upsetting to me is that the behavior occurred because of the children’s inability to speak up or tell someone else about it. They knew they could do or say what they wanted and get away with it. That just makes it especially sick.

  5. Like I don’t confuse all you people enough as it is, now you’re all posting the same blog?? I did finally watch it.

  6. oh my god. That’s absolutely heart breaking. I wonder if I can sign the petition, even though I’m in Canada. Will find out…

  7. I just posted on this…this video is so upsetting. That trash does not need to be teaching.

  8. I was directed here by a friend. I’m autistic, as is my teenage son and my nephew. Nobody knew I was autistic until my son’s diagnosis twelve years ago, so my childhood was quite difficult and painful.

    Some years ago a teacher’s aide at the school my son and nephew both attend threw an angry, frightened autistic boy into the pool fully clothed.

    The boy was my nephew, who simply didn’t want to swim that day.

    When my sister complained the aide was sacked and the school had her arrested on charges of child abuse. Unfortunately I was the one who saw the front page about the trial, and had to be the one to tell my sister that – while the woman was never allowed to work with children again – she had been cleared of child abuse. To this day I fail to understand how she dodged that bullet.

    I’m a passionate advocate for autism awareness, and am now following your blog. Thank you for sharing this story.

    • I’m glad you found your way here. I’m so sorry about what you went through with your nephew. It’s unbelievable to hear stories about terrible things that teachers have done to children. There are so many great teachers, it’s really a blight to have these few here and there that do so much damage and tarnish the profession.

      • Agreed; the school dealt with it swiftly and effectively though and that’s something.

        I wish the woman would have tried that on a tantrumming Rhys – he’d have thrown *her* in the water! 🙂

  9. Reblogged this on gremlins, bananas and princess husband and commented:
    This is applicable to ALL children, but i think its 10000000x worse when its being directed at a child, especially one with special needs. Its sad and disgusting.
    Any teacher who ever speaks like that to one of my girls, will FEEL the wrath of Zee! i will whip some serious ass!
    Its unbelievable that this comes from a teacher!!!


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