Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bullies at public schools aren't always students

Ohio Special-needs Student Wore Wire to Tape Aide's Caustic Comments starts with:

The mother of an Ohio teenager with special needs had her daughter wear a wire to secretly record a barrage of disparaging comments from a classroom aide, officials and the family's lawyer said.

On the four days of tapes, made last spring, the aide Kelly Chaffins is heard telling the 14-year-old girl that she is "dumb" and "a liar" and saying, "No wonder you don't have any friends."

"Don't you want to get rid of that belly?...Go for a walk. Do you know how to? You are just lazy and your family is lazy," she castigated the child, according to the complaint in a lawsuit filed by the girl's family.

The school paid the family $300,000, but the teachers didn't really suffer.  Chaffins resigned and will probably get a job at another school.  The teacher is on maternity leave and has agreed to take eight hours of training about bullying and recognizing child abuse.  This is just a slap on the wrist, after all the teacher will probably get paid for the training.

Hat tip: Natalie Winningham


abba12 said...

This was my situation as a child and why we finally left public school for good.

Teachers can be bullies too, and the damage they can do is far worse than children, because they have authority and trust.

Henry Cate said...

Great point.

We know of a similar situation in our area. There was a truly awful, mean, horrible teacher who harassed and bullied the students. At one point a principal finally decided they had enough and tried to fire her. Previous students from ten and twenty years came back to the school to testify how abusive this teacher was. They former students would break down crying when describing the events.

Yet the school was not able to fire her. Finally they offered her a bribe to retire early.

Yes, teachers as bullies can be much worse then a fellow student.