New Jersey Teacher Torments 10-Year-Old With Autism *AUDIO*
The above video was made by a New Jersey man whose 10-year-old son was tormented, mocked, and degraded by his special ed teacher and a teacher's aide at a school in New Jersey. His son, Akian, is a child with autism.
Akian's father, Stuart Chaifetz, was worried when he started getting notes sent home from Akian's school -- the Horace Mann Elementary School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey -- saying his son was having violent outbursts. Confused because his son had never been violent before, Chafietz sent Akian to school on February 17, with a "wire." What was captured on the audio recording is some of the most despicable stuff we've ever heard.
Chaifetz posted several of the audio recordings on his website, which you can see by clicking here.
In the recording, you hear several adults -- later identified as teacher's aide Jodi Sgouros and teacher Kelly Altenburg --telling the kids to "shut up," "shut your mouth," and "knock it off." At one point, the women discuss -- in front of the children -- how drunk they were the night before, and complain about their husbands. Later, one of the women calls Akian a "bastard."
"Go ahead and scream," one adult snaps at Akian when he starts crying. "Because guess what? You're going to get nothing... until your mouth is shut."
The Collingsworth Patch reports that Sguoros was fired and Altenburg was reassigned, but still has a job with the district.
The Cherry Hills School District did not respond to the Voice's request for comment, but tells the Collingsworth Patch that the incident was "an internal personnel matter that the district took seriously and handled appropriately."
Chaifetz apparently doesn't think it was handled appropriately, writing on his blog that "I don't know why the teacher wasn't fired. 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."
We contacted Chaifetz to see if he had any photos of Sguoros or Altenburg he'd be willing to hand over to us so we could further shame these two monsters. Hopefully he gets back to us. Check back for updates.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.