A father discovered staff at a school in New Jersey were "bullying" and using offensive language toward his 10-year-old autistic son after he fitted his child with a wire.
Stuart Chaifetz posted extracts of the recording on YouTube on April 20. He said the audio revealed staff members at Horace Mann Elementary School in Cherry Hill calling his son Akian a "bastard" and talking about vomiting that morning due to a hangover.
In response on Tuesday, the Cherry Hill School District released a statement saying a swift investigation had been conducted and the people involved no longer worked there.
In the YouTube video, Chaifetz said that shortly after his "wonderful, happy son" went to the school, notes were sent home saying his son was "hitting the teacher, hitting the aide and throwing chairs over."
A behaviorist was called in to see what was wrong, months passed, and Chaifetz still could not understand what was happening. Akian's autism meant he was not able to tell his father.
Eventually, Chaifetz decided to fit Akian with a hidden recording device.
In the YouTube video, he said his "life changed forever" when he listened to the tape on the night of Friday, Feb. 17, and found that staff at the school were "literally making my son's life a living hell."
"Okay, Akian, you are a bastard," was one comment on the tape from a woman who Chaifetz said was a teacher.
"Go ahead and scream, because guess what? You are going to get nothing until your mouth is shut," was another.
'The wine won'
He also recorded a conversation between two people in the class talking about the consequences of a night out drinking wine with a friend.
"You know what I was doing this morning?" says one woman. "Heaving?" asks the other. "Oh my God, so bad. The wine won."
Chaifetz, a single parent, said his son regularly went to stay with his mother, but the boy would sometimes feel anxious about these moves and ask for reassurance that he would see his father again.
In the tape, Akian is heard asking "May I see?" -- which Chaifetz said the staff member would know referred to him, based on prior experience -- and the staff member replied, "You cannot see," followed by the sound of laughter.
The staff member's response -- which Chaifetz said was designed to make fun of Akian -- caused his son to have a "half-hour meltdown." "I know how much that hurt Akian," he added.