teacher pointing and getting angry

Mom Hid Recording Device in Autistic Son’s Backpack, Got Abusive Teachers Fired

A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that can help raise and maintain awareness to important subjects. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to help keep parents in the know. They may be touching, and even make you shed a tear, but the health and wellbeing of our children are what we value most.

Advertisement

When talking about bullying in schools, most people think about students targeting other students. However, sometimes teachers are the bullies. While most teachers are caring and responsible, some use their power to ridicule or manipulate their pupils. However, this kind of emotional and verbal bullying is difficult to pinpoint, especially if the child doesn’t talk about it to their parents. But Milissa Davis, a mom from Lousiana, noticed her 12-year-old son Camden began to act out of character. He is autistic and nonverbal, but when he started acting aggressively and wetting the bed, she knew something was wrong. So she snuck a hidden audio recorder into his backpack.

Advertisement
Camden. Image Credit: WBRZ

Recording Caught Teachers Mocking Students 

This incident occurred in 2018 when Camden attended Hope Academy, a private school for children with special needs. The school’s website boasts “inclusion, encouragement, positive relationships and recognition of student accomplishment.” And when he returned home that day, Davis was horrified. The recorder captured a teacher and a teacher’s aide mocking the students. “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.” [1]

A clip of the recording involved the adults saying, “You’re just writing the word. What is hard about it?” And when the student responded with a grunting noise, the adult mockingly repeated the sound.

Then the attention went to Davis’s son: “Camden, why don’t you have anything written down? That’s why you can’t sit with everyone. Tell your momma that.” Then the other adult responded, “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.” 

Davis went public with her story to educate other parents about warning signs of teacher bullying. “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,” she said.

She also hired an attorney to help with her case. “One of the worst possible things you can do is take advantage of the infirm, or a disadvantaged child,” said Attorney Charlotte McGehee. “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.”

Read: Dad who is single adopts six disabled children: “I would never say never to having another child”

Advertisement

The School’s Response

In response to this situation, Hope Academy Principal Linda Stone released the following statement where she said the perpetrators were fired. “…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.”

Advertisement
Camden’s mother. Image Credit: WBRZ

Stone continued saying the parent hadn’t confronted the school before posting the recording on 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.”

She concluded by saying the perpetrators are not representative of the school or its values. “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.” [2]

Advertisement

Advocating for Children and Adults with Autism

Davis pulled Camden from Hope Academy and had since enrolled him in a new school where his teacher has a degree in special ed, Applied Behavior Analysis, and a minor in psychology. However, Camden still suffered after the bullying experience. His mother explained that he still struggled with severe anxiety and bed-wetting, which hasn’t happened since he was three.

Trending Now

Woman with rare medical condition gives birth to 44 kids by age 40
Woman with rare medical condition gives birth to 44 kids by age 40
Woman Stirs Debate on Social Media After Doctor Refuses to Sterilize H...
Woman Stirs Debate on Social Media After Doctor Refuses to Sterilize H...
Mom marches son to girl's house to apologise for calling her 'fat' and...
Mom marches son to girl's house to apologise for calling her 'fat' and...
Psychologists Warn To Never Use These 8 Phrases When Talking To Your C...
Psychologists Warn To Never Use These 8 Phrases When Talking To Your C...
Mom has no cash to carpet home but buys Burberry and Gucci clothes for...
Mom has no cash to carpet home but buys Burberry and Gucci clothes for...
Dad-to-Be Dies of 'Extraordinarily Rare' Cancer 3 Weeks After First ER...
Dad-to-Be Dies of 'Extraordinarily Rare' Cancer 3 Weeks After First ER...
Teen Knows Sister May Not Live to Attend High School, Invites Her as D...
Teen Knows Sister May Not Live to Attend High School, Invites Her as D...
MOTHERLY INSTINCT: Woman saves two girls from alleged kidnapper after ...
MOTHERLY INSTINCT: Woman saves two girls from alleged kidnapper after ...
“I Want to Live to Be 105 to See Him Graduate,” the Story of the D...
“I Want to Live to Be 105 to See Him Graduate,” the Story of the D...
Parents Sue Texas Hospital After 4-Year-Old Is Given An Accidental Vas...
Parents Sue Texas Hospital After 4-Year-Old Is Given An Accidental Vas...
Newborn’s face sliced open during emergency C-section
Newborn’s face sliced open during emergency C-section
Sheriff warns children not to pick up money found on the ground
Sheriff warns children not to pick up money found on the ground
Advertisement

I’m sad and heartbroken that this happened to Camden,” Davis said. “I am his biggest advocate and his biggest fighter for justice. No child should have to have this happen to them. I brought this to light because I wanted my son to be the last kid that this happened to at this school. This is happening all over the world, and people need to learn to accept kids and adults with Autism. They have a light in them that shines so bright.” [3]

Keep Reading: Dad’s Plea For Son With Autism Who ‘Hasn’t 1 Friend’ Goes Viral And Birthday Wishes Pour In

Advertisement

Sources

Advertisement
  1. “A mom found shocking recordings of teachers allegedly bullying her son, who has autism— now she’s fighting back.” Insider. Janaki Jitchotvisut. April 24, 2018.
  2. “Educators fired after mocking autistic student in audio recording.” WBRZ. Chris Nakamoto. April 10, 2018.
  3. “Autistic Boy Goes To School With A Hidden Recorder In Backpack, Two Teachers Get Fired.Bored Panda. Ilona Baliūnaitė.
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
Advertisement