10 Reasons to Send Your Child to School Wearing a Wire!

by Christopher Paslay

It’s the latest educational craze—sending your child to school wearing a wire.  Last week, the Associated Press wrote about the phenomenon:

Teachers hurled insults like “bastard,” “damn dumb,” “’tard” and “a hippo in a ballerina suit.” A bus driver threatened to slap one child. A bus monitor told another, “Shut up, you little dog!”

They were all special-needs students, and their parents all learned about the verbal abuse the same way—by planting audio recorders on the children before sending them off to school.

Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association, supports the practice.  “If a parent has any reason at all to suggest a child is being abused or mistreated, I strongly recommend that they do the same,” she said.  It appears, according to a story in the Huffington Post, a number of parents of disabled children are beginning to do just that.

For those parents interested in starting a war with their child’s teachers, here are 10 reasons to pimp-out your son or daughter and send him or her into a classroom with a secret recording device:

10.  Get Famous.  Just look at Stuart Chaifetz (see video below), the angry renegade dad from Cherry Hill, NJ, who wired-up his 10-year-old autistic son with a tape recorder in order to find out the real reason why the boy was attacking his teachers and throwing chairs at Horace Mann Elementary School.  As it turns out, after sifting through six-and-a-half hours of tape that was recorded without anyone’s consent, Chaifetz located several snippets of airplay where the teachers used a mean voice, telling his son to “shut his mouth,” and mumbling that he was a “bastard”.  After putting the audio on YouTube, the teachers were eventually disciplined and an aid was dismissed, and rightfully so; teachers should remain professional at all times, and those unable to act responsibly should be dealt with.  Now Chaifetz is an internet sensation, and his post has gotten over four million views!

9.  Create a Platform for Your Personal Politics.  Do you have a gripe with teachers?  Unions?  Tenure?  Give your kid a wire to wear to school, but before putting the illegal recording up on YouTube, embed your personal political agenda into the edited version with carefully crafted commentary that will be sure to touch a nerve in everyone!

8.  Violate the Rights of Teachers.  When you take your video, make sure you do it dishonestly.  Don’t first get the consent of the teachers appearing in the video or have them sign the proper release forms.  Just do it behind their back, violating their privacy rights both before and after you publish the edited version to the entire world on YouTube.

7.  Violate the Rights of Other Students.  Violate the privacy rights of the other students in the classroom the same way you violated the rights of the teachers.

6.  Make a Spectacle of Yourself.  When you edit the illegal video you forced your child to take in school, make sure you add-in video commentary of yourself speaking loudly and angrily into the camera with a look in your eye that suggests you are a few cards short of a full deck.

5.  Create a Toxic Learning Environment.  Nothing boosts classroom instruction better than the underlying tension created by the possibility of students recording their teacher’s every word and action, and then giving the recording to their disgruntled parents for calculated editing before putting it up on YouTube.

4.  Smear the Reputation of an Entire School District.  One rotten YouTube video can ruin all the hard work of an entire district of dedicated teachers.

3.  Show the World How Self Righteous You Are.  See reason #6, but when you talk angrily into the camera, let everyone know how important and heroic you are.

2.  Inflame Relations Between Your Community and School.  Improve public education by attacking teachers and violating privacy—and do all of it publically, on the internet.

1.  Pretend Your Child Does No Wrong.  We all know that discipline problems in the classroom have nothing to do with the behavior of children, and everything to do with mean-talking, bullying teachers (that is until teachers start putting videos of disrespectful and unruly students on the internet!)

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17 Comments

Filed under Teacher Bashing

17 responses to “10 Reasons to Send Your Child to School Wearing a Wire!

  1. UkuleleDave

    I teach. I don’t bully students or berate them. If you’re the least bit ashamed of the way you talk to your students, then you should move on from the profession. The most recent cases I have seen involved special needs kids and third graders! The teachers involved need to move on, because they were clearly bullying children.

    • ZachsMom

      And when you have special needs children who cannot go to their parent’s and say, “Mom, the teacher calls me a bastard – or yells at me”… the parent needs to advocate for that child – no MATTER how they need to do it. I AGREE with what the parent of that 10 year old autistic child did. It’s disgusting knowing that there are teachers or aides that bully special kids – it’s even moreso when Adults of sound mind say it’s wrong to try and protect those kids because of “Violating rights”. That child’s right to being treated fairly was violated first!

      • Hi ZachsMom,

        Teachers and aides who bully children–especially children with specials needs–are truly disgusting, no argument there. No one is saying that it is wrong to try to protect those children, either. But saying that it doesn’t matter how or in what manner a parent advocates for their child (the ends justify the means) is irresponsible; two wrongs still don’t make a right, no matter how angry or emotional you are. In fact, in a classroom setting, with other children present, parents must proceed with tact and good sense. Instead of forcing your autistic child into a classroom wearing a wire like some drug informant, there are proper ways of handling the situation if you think your child is being mistreated. Here is a great link explaining steps a parent can take that is legal, safe, and doesn’t put their own child (and the other children in the class), in an uncomfortable and compromising situation: “Before You Send You Child to School Wearing a Wire:” http://specialchildren.about.com/od/behavioranddiscipline/bb/Before-You-Send-Your-Child-To-School-Wearing-A-Wire.htm

        Thanks for writing,
        :-)

        Christopher Paslay

    • Trish58

      A teacher asked my special needs child to act like she does when she is being defiant, then recorded her refusing to follow instructions, as the teacher asked her to do. The school principal does not see anything wrong with this?? I am waiting for the superintendent’s response.

  2. Stevensdad

    Christopher Paslay, your article reads very smart-assy, cynical, and not funny in the least. You strike me as a bit paranoid- what are you worried about? Did some one tape you in your past?
    How is a parent Self Righteous getting to the bottom of deep issue, one that could only be resolved by wriring their child? A parent that OUTS a Bully Teacher is Stopping a Toxic Environment for all of the children in the classroom not creating it. You don’t get that?
    You are worried about Smearing an entire school district? Schools should be worried if any one teacher is bullying children and other teachers know about it, tolerate it, or look the other way. There should be a huge mandated list of consequences. Maybe all those dedicated teachers, you mention, in all districts will Out a peer teacher they deem as a Bully without fear of speaking out, then the district truly has no bad apples to worry about.

    In my opinion, Every decent teacher should teach as if there were a permanent Video Camera taping them teach in the classroom at all times- what is there to hide? they are there to TEACH our kids, it’s not happy hour or social time with other teachers, Teachers get paid to TEACH and Care for our kids daily. Teachers are molding and shaping our kids, some for for 6-7 hrs daily. The importance and impact of a good teachers vs. a bad teacher is Huge in the life of a child.
    Would you work everyday for a boss that humiliated you, bullied you and made you feel bad? I assume you would resign or maybe complain, try to get them fired, hire an attorney, etc. etc. Disabled and young children are unable to walk away, they suffer silently, it is our job to be our children’s advocate and get to the root of their suffering.
    How are other disabled students privacy rights violated if a parent audio tapes their own child and no other student names are released? If the teacher is a bad seed, all the students in the classroom and future students would benefit from their immediate removal.
    Instead of your preoccupation and jealousy of parents who have giant balls and take bold steps to “pimp their kids out” and remove Bully Teachers, focus on feeling some empathy for the Disabled and Younger kids that do not have a voice.
    “Two wrongs don’t make a right?” It is always a Right move to remove a Wrong teacher who infact is mistreating any child.

    • phillystyle71

      Stevensdad,

      Please see my below response to ZachsMom, which already addresses your points and objections.

      Thanks for writing.

      Christopher Paslay

  3. Kiyana

    Where is the concern for the disabled child in this story? The bottom line is if these parents had not sent their kids to school with a wire they would never have found out what was happening to their kids. Most of the parents took their concerns to the school and were BLOWN OFF. One parent was told that their concerns could be considered slander. Only once they had it on tape were their concerns taken seriously. So what do you suggest they do? Just continue to get blown off and allow their children to be abused? Because doing otherwise would violate the teacher’s rights. The adult who is getting paid, in a position of responsibility and should know better should not put his/her rights in front of the rights of a disabled child that cannot self-advocate. Where are your priorities?

  4. Hi Kiyana,

    A successful classroom environment (as well as a successful school culture), is based on communication, teamwork, and mutual respect. If a parent suspects that their son or daughter is being mistreated, they should not hesitate to address the problem. As I wrote in a response above, there are many appropriate ways to do this, such as confronting the teacher face-to-face, arranging for a meeting with the principal, administrator, special education team leader, etc. The concerned parent could also eavesdrop on their child’s playtime and listen for clues to the situation; be an active presence at their child’s school and gather information; check with other parents; request a behavior analysis; or call a team meeting. Any combination of these steps are more than enough to rectify the problem in a safe, legal, and appropriate manner. If, of course, you are a renegade parent who is so paranoid that your child is being mistreated (and that there is some collective conspiracy by the school to cover it up), than I guess you would have no choice but to force you child to go to school wearing a wire. If creating a toxic “gotcha” learning environment where people record each other behind their backs (and publish it on the internet, no less) instead of communicating face-to-face is the road you want to go down with your child and his or her teacher, so be it. But after teaching for 15 years and running a classroom based on mutual respect, I think this is the wrong thing to do. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

    Thanks for writing.

    Christopher Paslay

  5. Steve

    This is an excellent article. Funny, smart and right on the ball. I especially love the “edited” video. Teachers are bashed enough already.

  6. Beverly Hanset-Burch

    I do see both sides here. I was a teacher years ago. However, now I am the mom of a special needs physically disabled child that is also functionally nonverbal. Although she is bright, she cannot always communicate her needs to us. One complaint she has had is the bathroom. We aren’t sure *what* or *why* she is having issues with her one on one in the bathroom. She reports nothing but good from the general education classroom. That said, I want to know what is happening in the bathroom. I don’t want to make false guesses. Just how do I go about this? I have talked to the aide to no avail.

  7. zachsangels

    This message is for phillystyle71.I am a parent of a child with downs syndrome.My son is nonverbal.He was in a special ed class until I found out my son and other children in this class were being abused and neglected.My son is now homeschooled.I found out of the abuse from another parent and an aid.I reported it to CPS.They have supposedly been doing an investigation for 3 months.Nothing will be done.I know this.So I will be going on youtube with my recording of the aid talking about the abuse and neglect.I will be starting an advocacy group and website for parents with special needs kids.You listen to me you ignorant jerk.I am not doing this for fame or fortune ,or recognition.I am doing this because no one cares.No one will prosecute these people.Just like these other parents,this is our last option.I will do this because I love my son.And I will not stop trying to make people listen and become aware of the horrible way special needs kids are treated.Children are being abused tortured and murdered at schools.These teachers,aids,and so called care-givers just get away with it.You are outraged that parents wire their kids and invade a teachers privacy.Where is your outrage of the innocent children that are treated worse than animals .Children who cannot speak are tied and taped to chairs.They are kicked and punched,yelled at,ridiculed,slapped locked in rooms for hours.Where the hell is your outrage about this horror.Parents don’t listern to this crap.Wire your child.Find out whats going on in your childs classroom.You will be shocked.. phillystyle71 I ask you to look at these stories and you will know why parents wire their kids.On youtube-Jonathon Carey story,America’s forgotten Children Google and research special needs kids abused at school.Then get back on here and give your opinion.

  8. zachsangels

    10 reasons to send your child to school wearing a wire
    1.Because you love your child and you want to protect them
    2.Abuse and neglect of special needs kids is an epidemic
    3.Teachers,aids,and bus drivers are abusing special needs kids
    4.Schools,administrators,and school boards cover up the abuse
    5.Restraint.Seclusion.and aversions are used in schools aimed at special needs kids
    6.No ones so called privacy rights are more important than your childs life
    7.You are the one ultimately responsible for your childs well-being and safety
    8.There are documented cases of children murdered at school,in most cases,no-one is held accountable
    9.My special needs child should be treated with dignity and respect
    10.Because you will find out the truth,it may save your childs life

  9. IcyMama

    Obviously you have never know the heartache of having your special needs kid come home criying and out of control because they have been teased and belittled and bullied….not by other kids, but by the very people that are supposed to protect them. Shall I discuss it with them? I HAVE, they protect each other, and of course it is my son, my autistic special needs 11-year-olds words against theirs. And the more we complain, the more they pick on him and purposely TRY to incite his behavior. So YES, I AM going to send my son to school with a wire and YES, I will use anything on it to absolutely DESTROY their careers, because when you are in a position to care for a vulnerable child and you abuse that power and then lie about it, you deserve to lose everything. Period. This article is pathetic.

    • TJEB04

      I am a mom to a disabled 8 year old. She has limited speech. She has came home every day from school this past year having a “melt down” as soon as she gets home from this terrible school! She is self injurious due to her syndrome & because the school will not follow her Behavioral plan her arm is a scarred mess because she has bit holes in it at school! We have had 5 IEPs last year & are already on our 4th IEP this year! I have had meetings with the principal, the teacher, the supervisor of her program & the special ed director all of those meetings have amounted to nothing!!!!! The school districts do not care how we feel! They are just worried how much money they get & making sure the school keeps running. They don’t want to hear from us or & they love to frustrate us so we will back off! These teachers, aids, principals are bullies to our kids & play on the fact that they can push our kids around without a care in the world! This is disgusting & needs to stop!!!! Wire your kids! Do anything you can to catch these despicable human beings that say they care for our kids! We trust in them to take care of our kids while we are at work or at home meanwhile thinking they are getting an appropriate education! I have met very few teachers that are actually good at their job. As for the Aids… They only need a high school degree to handle my child…unbelievable!

  10. Mom with a mission

    Parents of special needs children have to protect their children from the system that promotes dishonesty. Many school districts are only concerned with whether they are going to get sued and making every child fit into their programs. And as I read down the posts a bit!! there’s no “system” to protect our children or way to report suspected abuse!! Let’s be serious! Sometimes they are feeling desperate and our children can’t become victims as a result of their frustration. My child has been lied to and tricked and I pay my taxes to this system and I expect more for my child! I am going to wire my child! For someone who can’t advocate or protect themselves it should be done and legal!!!! Elderly and Alzheimer’s patient!!! ANYONE!! People need to hold themselves to higher standards or stay away from people that can’t defend themselves!!! Period!!! Anyone upset by that should take a look at themselves!!! It’s only whensomeone gets caught behaving badly that it’s a problem!!! If you aren’t caring forsomeone with special needs you have no idea how difficult it is to protect them!

  11. What an interesting article. I felt I learned much by reading it, although became alarmed by the mocking tone used by the author when benefits of wiring a child in school were listed. Perhaps you really don’t know? Your attitude reminded me very much of that of staff and administrators when we have used the steps you mention to resolve our concerns over how our special-needs child is treated in school (confronting the teacher face-to-face, arranging for a meeting with the principal, administrator, special education team leader, etc. Eavesdrop on their child’s playtime and listen for clues to the situation; be an active presence at their child’s school and gather information; check with other parents; request a behavior analysis; or call a team meeting) You mentioned that “any combination of these steps are more than enough to rectify the problem in a safe, legal, and appropriate manner.” I so wish this were true; having tried all of these as anyone with common sense hopefully would, I assure you none of these things has helped. At all. But I am glad I read this, it does clear up any reservations I may have had that yes, wiring my child is the only way I will get actual proof of what is said and done to her in school, and yes, I have done everything possible to address the situation before proceeding. Thank you for your article.

  12. Someone in NJ

    Oh pleez!! my daughter (5) got held down and punched by two boys in her kindergarten just last week in a so-called “blue-ribbon” school district in NJ. I went to the principal the next morning to discuss this. She could NOT tell me what their penalty would be since I am not their mother. She could not tell me this type of thing won’t happen again. She could not tell me where the teacher was during this time period as the situation escalated over the course of a few minutes (this is the second time something has happened to my child at this school and supervision has been questioned). Public schools now are for those who want to gurad their pensions and make sure the inmates don’t get dead. That’s it. My daughter learned more at a private pre-k than she is learning now in public kindergarten. So, your defense of going through the proper channels to protect your kid holds no water – the administrators AND most of the teachers just don’t care. They wanna protect their summer schedule and their pensions. The union wants to make sure the money goes to the right places and people. ANY dissent on the part of the parents or “inmates” is squelched. AND HEY, I took my ed courses at Rutgers with the future public school educators of NJ and I was appalled. The lack of real interest in actually teaching was clear and amazing. Most people got through their lesson planning copying stuff from the internet – easy to do. So ya know what? Record your kids. Humiliate a few idiots who should not be in the classroom. Do what you must to protect your child. AND vote for vouchers and more charter schools. Time the unions and the stale teachers that exist right now learn we aren’t interested in that type of activity in eduation anymore.

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