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!)