Two teachers at a Louisiana school have been fired after an audio recording captured them cruelly mocking a 12-year-old boy with severe autism.
The child’s mother, Milissa Davis, told WBRZ that her son had become aggressive and started wetting the bed at home. She placed a recording device in the boy’s backpack to investigate what he was experiencing at Hope Academy in Baton Rouge.
What she discovered horrified her.
“I just wanted to cry, scream and do everything I could because it was so bad,” Davis said. “To think that I had sent my son there every day, and what had happened before, that I didn’t know about.”
Two adults are heard talking to and about the student:
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 mamma 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.”
Hope Academy advertises that it specializes in teaching students with learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, Asperger syndrome, ADHD, down syndrome, cognitive disabilities and dyslexia.
One teacher was fired when the recording first surfaced, another was fired days later, according to WBRZ.
“This is incredibly unfortunate, and we sincerely apologize to the family. We continue to welcome a meeting with the family,” Principal Linda Stone said.
Davis encourages other parents of special needs students to pay attention to warning signs.
“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,” Davis said.
Davis’ attorney Charlotte McGehee said she intends to file complaints with the Department of Education.
“One of the worst possible things you can do is take advantage of the infirm, or a disadvantaged child,” Attorney Charlotte McGehee said. “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.”
Davis thanked the community of Baton Rouge for the support shown to her family. She has transferred her son to a different school.