Hidden audio reveals autistic child being tormented, bullied by public school teachers

Wednesday, May 02, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: autistic child, bullies, school teachers

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(NaturalNews) The Cherry Hill Public School District in New Jersey is scrambling to sweep under the rug a truly shocking incident involving child abuse at one of its schools. Horace Mann Elementary School is gaining nationwide attention after two of its teachers, Kelly Altenburg and Jodi Sgouros, were caught on a hidden recording verbally abusing and bullying ten-year-old Akian Chaifetz, a special needs student with autism.

When Stuart Chaifetz, Akian's father, starting hearing reports that his otherwise calm and polite son was hitting teachers and having violent outbursts in class, he grew suspicious as to why, and began to question whether or not the allegations were even true. So he decided to send Akian to school one day with a hidden microphone on his body, and what he discovered was that Akian's teachers were verbally abusing, mocking, and bullying the young boy during class.

Besides inappropriately talking about their escapades with alcohol and their troubled marriages, the women in the clip can be heard yelling at Akian to "shut his mouth" on several occasions throughout the day. Jodi Sgouros, the aide of Akian's primary teacher, Kelly Altenburg, can be heard throughout the clips yelling at Akian, making fun of him, and at one point even maliciously mocking him when he asks a question about seeing his dad.

Akian's father, Stuart, created a 17-minute video montage highlighting some of the worst portions of the audio recordings, and also provided his own explanations as to what was happening when they occurred. You can view this disturbing video, which has since gone viral, at:

Though Chaifetz had urged viewers not to try to contact the school district or the teachers involved, their identifies have since been made public after Jodi Sgouros, the teacher's aide, was quickly identified as the verbal perpetrator, and subsequently fired from the school. Teacher Kelly Altenburg, however, who had allowed the abuse and bullying to occur under her watch, and who can be heard in the clips laughing at Sgouros' mockery of Akian and other students, was reportedly transferred to Cherry Hill High School West.

Outraged over this blatant dereliction of responsibility by the school district, Chaifetz and his thousands of sympathizing supporters are demanding that Altenburg be fired from her new position. Supporters have even created a petition to the school to have Altenburg fired:

"I really hope this starts a conversation, and I hope people out there who are, who do have the power, can take a breath and say, 'If this can happen here, then it can happen in every state in every town,'" said Chaifetz to

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