A dad discovers his autistic son is being harassed, humiliated and bullied by his teacher and aide in Cherry Hill.
This is enraging and heart-wrenching in the same breath. If you’re not familiar with Cherry Hill, NJ, it’s the kind of town you move to for its good schools and solid reputation. Over the course of the 17-minute video below, the dad’s discovery reveals why that good reputation may be unwarranted.
Prompted by reports of his son’s unusual and violent behavior at school, the dad, Stuart Chaifetz, secretly records his son’s day. What he finds is more than just two teachers having a bad day, this is a soundtrack of a parent’s nightmare. The teacher and aide call the little boy a bastard, they tease him and taunt him, they yell at him to “shut up” and “shut your mouth”. They talk about getting drunk, throwing up, their husbands, and more and they do all of this in front of the kids.
The treatment of little Akian at the hands of these Cherry Hill teachers would be terrible whether he had autism or not, but is even more severe considering he does. After presenting his evidence to the school, one aide was fired and the teacher and other aides were reassigned. He has also set up a petition to call for the dismissal of teachers who so undeniably bully and demean their children. I encourage you to sign and share the petition not just for the sake of 10 year-old Akian, but for the sake of all our kids.
The parent-teacher relationship can’t work if it’s adversarial – it can’t work when trust is lost. I have a pretty good relationship with my son’s teacher and I count myself very lucky – even luckier now that I see just how bad it can be in a town just like the one I live in.
Watch below and don’t forget to sign the petition.