Two teachers have been fired after they were secretly recorded mocking and making inappropriate comments about a severely autistic student.
After becoming suspicious her 12-year-old son Camden Davis was being mistreated, mother Milissa sent him to school with a recording device secretly placed in his backpack.
Listening back to what it captured, Milissa was shocked to hear a teacher and a teaching assitant making fun of her son.
When Camden began wetting the bed and getting aggressive, mother Milissa became concerned as he was unable to verbalise what was going on due to his autism.
Voicing her concerns to principal Linda Stone of the Greater Baton Rouge Hope Academy, Milissa claims it all fell on deaf ears, WBRZ 2 reports.
Deciding to take further action Milissa sent Camden to school with the device which recorded the teachers saying the following:
ADULT: ‘You’re just writing the word. What is hard about it?’
STUDENT: grunting noise
ADULT: mocks noise
ADULT: ‘Camden, why don’t you have anything written down? That’s why you can’t sit with everyone. Tell your momma that..’
ADULT: ‘Let’s see what they do with him in f****** public school. He was going to go to Live Oak Middle. Uh ah, he wouldn’t make it for a minute.’
You can watch an interview with her here:
[ooyala player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ width=”undefined” height=”undefined” pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l” code=”wxdWoxZjE6NXlH8NPiGa_Mt1Lu4CZ6pI”]
It is no surprise Milissa was left heartbroken by this saying:
I just wanted to cry, scream and do everything I could because it was so bad.
To think that I had sent my son there every day, and what had happened before, that I didn’t know about.
If they’re special needs, look at the situation as to why your child is acting that way, because no child deserves to go through what my child did.
The Hope Academy advertises it specialises in teaching students with autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, Down’s syndrome and Asperger syndrome.
Wanting to alert other parents about the incident, Milissa made her story public and hired an attorney, Charlotte McGehee, to help her deal with the situation.
Intending to file a complaint with the Department of Education, McGehee added:
One of the worst possible things you can do is take advantage of the infirm, or a disadvantaged child.
They need the extra protection, and he didn’t get it. When I heard the treatment of this child through the recording his mother made, I was horrified.
She already had issues. She wanted to address where her son is seated and that he has had a behaviour change.
None of those issues were addressed prior to her going and getting the evidence of abuse that was going on with her child.
The two teachers have since both been fired.
Principal Stone released the following statement in full:
For the last 11 years, Hope Academy has been dedicated to the education of students with special needs. We provide a vital resource to this community. And we do it at cost and with teachers and administrators who are dedicated to special needs children.
On March 23, 2018, a recording posted to social media was brought to our attention. Apparently, a parent sent a student to school with a recording device in his/her backpack. The recording appears to be a compilation of audio clips, many of which involve private conversations between two adults with no other persons/children present. The recording contains regretful conversations between these adults.
The parent never brought the recording to the attention of Hope Academy before posting it to social media. The parent has also refused to meet with Hope Academy to discuss the actions we have taken to address the issue. The persons involved in the communications are either no longer with the school or will no longer be with the school after this semester.
Over these many years, Hope Academy has built a strong reputation for competently serving the educational needs of the special needs community. These recordings are not an indication of who we are. We ask that the community not let the actions of two persons reflect on the reputation of and the mission of our school-a mission we have tried so hard to build. We again extend an invitation to meet with the parent involved to discuss this incident further.
Milissa has since transferred her son Camden to a different school.
Although he is doing better, she added he has clearly been impacted from the alleged abuse.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.