To Chaifetz’s shock, Akian, a student with Autism, returned with a tape containing hours of verbal and emotional abuse from his classroom aide and teacher, which the father documented and published in an emotional YouTube video.
When Stuart Chaifetz sent his 10-year-old son to New Jersey’s Horace Mann Elementary School wearing a hidden audio recorder, he couldn’t have predicted what he would uncover.
The move came in reaction to accusations from the school that his son Akian was having “violent outbursts,” including hitting his teacher and teacher’s aide — claims that Chaifetz claims are against his son’s “sweet and non-violent” nature.
Akian, who has Autism, returned with a tape containing hours of apparent verbal and emotional abuse from his classroom aide and teacher — whom Chaifetz identifies as “Jodi” and “Kelly” — a recording which his father later published on YouTube.
The Feb. 17 recording started with Akian’s aide and the teacher, whom Collingswood Patch provides evidence may be Jodi Sgouros and Kelly Altenburg, respectively, based on a previously published online staff directory.
The two engage in inappropriate conversations, like joking about their alcohol abuse and sex lives in front of their students — all of whom have behavioral conditions and, according to Chaifetz, communication difficulties that prevent them from relaying the conversations to their parents.
“You would never get away with talking about your alcohol abuse the night before if this was a mainstream class,” Chaifetz says in the YouTube video. “And that’s the point, isn’t it? They knew none of those boys could go home and tell their parents that the person who ran that class was under the influence of alcohol and was throwing up.”