Cherry Hill District Quiet After Teachers Caught Bullying Autistic Boy [AUDIO/VIDEO]
More questions than answers from the Cherry Hill Public School District, after an incident where audio recordings revealed teachers mocking and swearing at a ten year-old autistic boy.
The incident began when officials at the Horace Mann Elementary School said Aiken Chaifetz was becoming violent. But his dad, Stuart Chaifetz, says he had never shown such tendencies before which is why he sent his son to school wearing a wire.
Stuart says what he heard changed his life. One adult is heard hissing at Aiken, “Go ahead and scream because guess what? You’re going to get nothing… until your mouth is shut”, another calls him a “bastard” in a tape he recorded that lasted six hours.
According to Chaifetz one aide, “Jodi” was fired, but “Kelly, his son’s teacher,still works in the school district.
“She was reassigned to Cherry Hill West, you can hear it on the voicemail at the school and see it in the Board of Education agenda from March…I am outraged.”
Chaifetz said he is seeking a full apology from the teacher and aides who were responsible for what they did to his son and the immediate resignation of the teacher, “Kelly.”
“If a teacher bullies a child, especially one with special needs, they need to be immediately fired.”
A spokeswoman at the Cherry Hill Public School District told Townsquare Media the incident was handled swiftly and appropriately and was an internal matter. She would not confirm whether or not the women heard on the tapes were fired.
“I have no further comment on that” she said via phone Wednesday morning.
The Cherry Hill Education Association also had no comment on Wednesday. “This is a personnel matter, and we do represent the teacher in this case,” union president Martin Sharofsky told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Asked if that meant the teacher was still employed with the district, he said, “We don’t just walk away from people,” but would not say if that meant she still had a job with the district.
Calls to a lawyer who a reporter learned was representing the teacher were not returned.
Listen to Stacy’s report
Outside the Horace Mann Elementary, where the recording took place, parents picking up their children were quick to dismiss requests for comment.
A school official ran outside and told a police officer parked out front to keep me off school grounds.
One father stopped to talk briefly, only to say that he hopes the incident was an isolated one. “I’d hate to think this kind of thing goes on at this school all the time…it’s disgusting” he said.
At a nearby convenience store, a mother of two young girls, who attend a private school in the area, said she heard of the bullying incident through a friend.
“I am really upset and would be really concerned if this were my kids’ school. They have bullying seminars for children and parents, they really should have them for teachers too.”
TALKING TO THE MEDIA
Chaifetz talked to Deminski & Doyle on Wednesday afternoon and also spoke to ABC’s Diane Sawyer
Stuart Chaifetz also gave an interview on Wednesday to ABC’s Diane Sawyer. Thursday he will speak with Anderson Cooper on CNN.