xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: Outrage for Akian: It's about dignity

Monday, April 23, 2012

Outrage for Akian: It's about dignity

Note: Feel free to reprint this post anywhere you like, just please include the links to the sites I have at the bottom. I don't need to be credited for it, but Stuart does.

I know I said I was tired of talking about autism, but this is something I just can't stay quiet about.

I've spent a lot of time here talking about how one of the most frustrating things about autism, for me, is that when Child 1 is upset, he has so much trouble telling me why, that oftentimes I just won't ever know. When he comes home from school upset, which luckily doesn't happen often, I will do anything and everything to try to find out why.

Can you imagine if your sweet and happy autistic child started getting aggressive at school for no reason, how much you would try to find out why? Do you know the lengths you would go to for your child? I would do whatever it took, I can tell you that. Whatever it took.

I saw a video today, posted on reddit. It was of a father whose sweet and happy autistic child, exactly Child 1's age, suddenly started getting aggressive and violent at school and he had no idea why. They had IEP meetings, they met with a Behaviorist, he worked the system just like he was "supposed to," for 6 months. But when he got nowhere, he played a hunch, put a wire on his kid and sent him to school to record what happened there.

It turned out that his son, Akian, was being verbally abused by his teacher and aide in his classroom. I'm posting the video below, but I have to warn you that it is VERY upsetting. I had a hard time getting through it all, but I will sum it up for you.

It's mostly Akian's dad, Stuart, describing what happened, and you also hear some of the recording of the horrible things those people say to him.

They called him a bastard. These adults, whose job was to protect and help and teach children... they laughed at him, made fun of him and called him a bastard.  I'm horrified by this.

Stuart turned his recording over to the school district, and also the media. An aide was fired but the teacher was not. The school district has said that it has handled the matter appropriately and apparently they think the matter is closed.

Stuart doesn't think the matter is closed. In the video he says directly to the adults involved: "I want a public apology for what you did to my son. I want your full name out. I want you to come forward. I want you to take responsibility for what you do and then I want you to resign.... Not for me, but so one day I can play this video back for my son and say, 'Akian, you didn't deserve anything that happened to you. These people are at fault.' I'm not looking to sue anybody. I'm not going to file a lawsuit. It's not about money. It's about dignity. This is to reclaim my son's dignity. You owe it to him."

Let's help him get the word out. Below the video I'm posting some links where you can get more information

No More Teacher/Bullies A webpage set up to explain the video and the situation
No More Teacher/Bullies on Facebook
Stuart's email address

I'm turning off commenting for this post, because this isn't about me. Also, I want to be clear, and Stuart was clear in the interview that he did for his local Fox affiliate, that this isn't about the 99% of teachers who are great at what they do, this is about the 1% that aren't, and I don't want this to turn into a discussion about education reform and teacher unions or any of that bullshit. If you want to comment on the video, get more information or give Stuart your support, please go to the Facebook page and do it there.