Two Alabama teachers caught taunting disabled boy, 10, as 'gross' and 'disgusting' after his mother bugged his wheelchair with recording device
By JR on Monday, April 02, 2012
Teachers can be surprisingly unprofessional. My son is physically robust and very bright but his female teacher in Grade 4 was contemptuous of him because he sat quietly rather than running around like the other kids. I spoke to the Principal about it and he promised action but I sent my son to another school for grade 5, where he was found to be two years ahead of his classmates in reading age. When my son got a First in Mathematics at university years later, I emailed the Head teacher and pointed out that one of his alumni had distinguished himself but with no credit to the school
Two Alabama teachers were caught cruelly taunting and abusing a 10-year-old boy who has celebral palsy after the boy’s mother attached an audio recorder to his wheelchair.
The shocking recording captures two voices chiding Jose Salinas for his ‘disgusting’ drooling and reveals he was left alone with no instruction for long periods of time.
The teachers accused, Drew Faircloth and Alicia Brown, have been put on administrative leave from Wicksburg High School, Alabama, where Jose is in the fourth grade.
Melisha Salinas knew her son was not happy at school and he often came home sick but Jose always said he had a ‘good day’ when asked about it. In despair Salinas, a nursing student, took her son to a psychologist who told her the problem could be stress or anxiety but could not determine the cause.
An explanation came when one of Jose’s classmates told Salinas that the teacher’s aide had been mean to Jose three times that day.
Determined to be sure of what was happening herself she attached a bugging device to Jose’s wheelchair and left it recording over three days. The recording revealed that her son was being cruelly taunted about his disability and ignored for the majority of the day with no-one giving him instruction.
'You drooled on the paper,' a male's voice, allegedly that of teacher's aide Drew Faircloth, can be heard saying. 'That's disgusting.' 'Keep your mouth closed and don't drool on my paper,' a woman's voice identified as Alicia Brown is heard saying.'I do not want to touch your drool. Do you understand that? Obviously, you don't.'
After listening to the tapes. which she said 'broke her heart', Salinas immediately pulled her son out of the school. 'I could not believe someone would treat a child that way, much less a special needs child,' Melisha Salinas told ABCNews.com.
'The anger in his voices ... and the thing he was getting angry about, [Jose] just can't help.'
She played the tapes to the school board and the teachers were placed on administrative leave.
And Jose, who is known as Little Joe to his family and friends, was able to return to school.
But within days the teachers were returned to their positions so Salinas and other parents took their children out of the school in protest.
Feeling that ‘nobody was listening’ Salinas took the recordings to her local newspaper and the teachers were placed on leave once again.
'There were some very disturbing things on the tape,' Superintendent Tim Pitchford told The Dothan Eagle. 'Employees were not very compassionate to the needs of the child and the symptoms of his disability. It did not appear on the tapes that there was much teaching going on.'
The recordings have shocked YouTube viewers and a Facebook page called 'We Got Your Back Little Joe!!!' has nearly 5,000 supporters.
The school board are meeting on April 9 to decide what action to take against the teachers.