Staff In Cherry Hill Bullying Incident No Longer Employed By District [VIDEO]
The superintendent of Cherry Hill schools says 2 individuals heard in a father’s secret recordings of staff at an elementary school terrorizing his 10 year old autistic son “no longer work in the district.”
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.”
Two unidentified teachers aides and a teacher have been fired. The school district will only say it’s an internal matter that has been handled appropriately.
Board of Education President Seth Klukoff and Superintendent Dr. Maureen Reusche presented the following statement at the Tuesday, April 24 Board of Education meeting.
“My fellow Board members and I certainly understand and share the concerns expressed by many members of the community,” said Klukoff. “We strongly believe that the district acted swiftly, appropriately and judiciously with regard to the staff in the classroom. What’s more, we are confident that these decisions were informed first and foremost by compassion for the students. We are proud of the many caring teachers and staff of our district who provide tireless dedication to our children and work ceaselessly to ensure that our classrooms are conducive to learning and growth.”
Reusche added, “In February, upon receiving a copy of an audio recording, the district undertook a thorough and rigorous investigation and, as we have previously noted, responded swiftly and appropriately. Although this is a personnel matter and there are specifics that I cannot legally address publicly, I want to assure our parents that the individuals who are heard on the recording raising their voices and inappropriately addressing children no longer work in the district and have not since shortly after we received the copy of the recording.”
APOLOGY & LEGISLATION
Stuart Chaifetz, described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as an animal-rights activist and former school board candidate, has said he wants an apology from the staffers and legislation that would remove any legal barriers to the dismissal of teachers and other school employees who bully.
Earlier Tuesday, three South Jersey legislators called for the dismissal of any school employees found to have verbally abused Akian.
In a joint statement, State Sen. James Beach, Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, and Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, all Democrats from Burlington or Camden Counties, said:
“This type of alleged verbal abuse of any child by trusted adults in the classroom is disturbing. The school district should immediately undertake a thorough and rigorous investigation, and if it is found that any teacher, aide, or other adult staff member engaged in this deplorable abuse, they should be fired immediately.
“As parents, we send our children to school to learn, to grow, and to realize their full potential. We trust the adults in our schools — the teachers, the administration and the support staff — to look after the well-being of our kids. And the vast majority of them do so with commendable passion and dedication. That is why we cannot permit verbal abuse like this of any child to occur in our schools. If these allegations are verified through an investigation, the individuals involved should be fired.”
Stuart Chaifetz’s video, posted on YouTube and numerous other websites, had more 380,000 views by 11 p.m. Tuesday according to the Courier-Post. Chaifetz said he was swamped throughout the day by emails and phones calls from the media and parents with similar concerns and asking how they could wire up their own child.
Do you agree with how the district has handled the situation?