A Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Lately, there have been an alarming number of stories in the news about special needs children being physically and verbally abused at school.

I read them daily.

I see them because I have a child with special needs and I follow people and pages that share these stories.

Many times, they don’t make the front page paper. They aren’t featured on the news.

I don’t know why either. Just another reason why our kids feel like second rate citizens. Everyone needs to be outraged about child abuse. Not just the parents.

Anyhow, the latest one is the most disturbing. It is sick. It is awful.

I also want to be clear that I am PRO PUBLIC EDUCATION. People that choose to work with children are saints. This story is hopefully one in a million. It is hopefully, and I pray to God, not happening anywhere else.

Anyhow, the story circulating is titled ‘Disturbing audio recording made inside an elementary school classroom in West Virginia‘ and was shared by ABC7 WJLA.

I watched the story and I immediately felt ill. I felt sick to my stomach.

I pictured my son Cooper on his first day of kindergarten. I can’t even tell you how scared I was to send him.

My son is autistic. He is nonverbal. He is a handful. But I will add that he is the cutest handful you will ever meet.

I remember agonizing the days leading up to his first day of school.

Would the teachers be nice to him? Would they be patient with him? Would they offer him a drink of water? Would they wipe his face? Change his diaper?

Would they be kind? Would they smile at his quirks? Would they treat him with compassion and respect?

What if he had a meltdown? What if he threw a chair because the lights were too bright? What if he hit because he was scared?

What if no one listened to him? What if no one cared?

I didn’t know the answers to my questions. I had to trust the system though. I had to trust that their were good people in this world that would care for him.

But what if they didn’t? How would I even know? My son couldn’t tell me.

He is the definition of a vulnerable child.

At that time his communication skills were evaluated at a 6-9 month old baby.

My fear was real.

What if he was abused emotionally, physically or even sexually.

I WOULD NOT KNOW.

I think all parents of special needs kids worry like I do. And so did a mother in West Virginia.

Amber Pack sent her 8-year-old daughter to class with a recording device after her child didn’t want to go back to school.

If you can stomach it I encourage you to watch the video above.

If not, here are a few of the recordings.

Instructor #1: “This one I could punch her right in her face.”

A different instructor in the same class.

Instructor #2: “You got to go pee-pee? Pee-pee? Or do you not have to go pee-pee and you just want to go **** *** in a chair?”

This one makes me violently ill:

Instructor #1: “Growl at me. I dare you and you won’t get one. Go ahead. There is nothing says I have to give you a snack. Nothing.”

Instructor #2: “Looks like you get nothing Owen. Ha ha. Sorry buddy.’

Monsters. These people are absolute monsters. The lowest of low. Demoralizing disabled, vulnerable children.

I am sharing this because we need to get mad. We need to get angry. We need to stand up and say NO MORE. But mostly we need to be aware.

We need to have our eyes and ears open.

Our kids deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. They are no different than any other child.

Mom Amber Pack is fighting back with a change.org petition asking for a law to be passed to bring cameras inside classrooms in West Virginia. “In 24 hours we just reached 2,500 signatures. I hope we can get something done about it,” Pack said.

Click HERE to sign the petition. Also, forward this story to your school administrators and demand cameras in your child’s classroom.

We have to stand up for our kids. For kids like Cooper. That don’t have a voice.

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Comments

  • Danelle

    February 12, 2019 at 2:02 pm
    Reply

    Did you see the horrible story of the two teachers in Ocala Florida who locked autistic children in dark bathrooms & whistled loudly in their […] Read MoreDid you see the horrible story of the two teachers in Ocala Florida who locked autistic children in dark bathrooms & whistled loudly in their ears? I saw it last week. A susbstitute aid reported them. The special education teacher or lead teacher was the school’s teacher of the year 2017-2018... Read Less

  • Carmen

    February 12, 2019 at 2:23 pm
    Reply

    I just cannot believe this. This is horrifying. The sounds these poor children were making it makes me feel sick to my stomach. These teachers […] Read MoreI just cannot believe this. This is horrifying. The sounds these poor children were making it makes me feel sick to my stomach. These teachers are on PAID leave??? What?? They should be terminated at a minimum and charged with child abuse. Cameras need to placed in these classrooms but that’s not where it should end. I think there needs to be a child advocate person placed in the classroom to product these very vulnerable people of our society. I’m just in total shock. While I want to share this story I’m scared to bc I don’t want upset my fellow special needs moms :( Read Less

  • James Pack

    February 12, 2019 at 2:29 pm
    Reply

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write about my baby’s story.. we really appreciate your effort to help us garner the attention […] Read MoreThank you so much for taking the time to write about my baby’s story.. we really appreciate your effort to help us garner the attention her story deserves. Read Less

  • Mary Maier-Abel

    February 12, 2019 at 6:54 pm
    Reply

    This post brings me flash backs to my son at age 9 (now almost 24). He was abused by his one on one side when […] Read MoreThis post brings me flash backs to my son at age 9 (now almost 24). He was abused by his one on one side when he was in public school. I came into school to pick him up on a bad day and found him being held to the wall by his throat. The principal proceeded to suspend him for 3 days because he struck the aide in the head in an attempt to be released from her grasp. It was the last time he entered the school building. I filed paperwork to homeschool that day and never looked back. My son is verbal but still couldn't relay what exactly was happening. I am sick and furious that these things happen to our precious, vulnerable children. Read Less

  • Vikki

    February 12, 2019 at 7:14 pm
    Reply

    I am a special needs teacher and this just breaks my heart. Cameras in classrooms keep both teachers and students safe.

  • HouseofHarrells
    to James Pack

    February 12, 2019 at 7:33 pm
    Reply

    I am so sorry for what your daughter and classmates experienced, and the families. This is heartbreaking. As a mom to a nonverbal, incredible 4 […] Read MoreI am so sorry for what your daughter and classmates experienced, and the families. This is heartbreaking. As a mom to a nonverbal, incredible 4 year old boy this really infuriates me. This is one of my biggest fears, that he can't tell me someone is mistreating him or making him feel bad...right up there with the fear of getting lost and can't call for help. Never should we have to even think twice about how another person may treat these innocent children. They already have to work so hard to do things most take for granted. I'm just so sad about yet another story. By the way this is hitting multiple places, saw it on another IG account. Thank you for being such advocates for us all. Read Less

  • Jennifer

    February 13, 2019 at 8:08 am
    Reply

    I work I a special needs classroom and this devistates me. I cannot believe people can treat a human being this way. These women should […] Read MoreI work I a special needs classroom and this devistates me. I cannot believe people can treat a human being this way. These women should be in prison. Everything is stacked against these kids, they have more challenges to face than most. They need people to fight for them, not fight them. That video literally made me cry, just makes me sick. Read Less

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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