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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Special-needs girl "Bullying" by her Teachers caught on tape : Nov 15, 2011

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AS REPORTED ON "The Today Show"
By Scott Stump

When a 14-year-old special needs student in Ohio told her father she was being bullied at school, he figured it was something that many teenagers endure.

Then he realized it was his daughter’s teachers doing the bullying.

“We were shocked,’’ he tearfully said. “We couldn’t know. We didn’t know.’’

After being told repeatedly by school administrators that his daughter was lying about being harassed and bullied, he outfitted her with a hidden tape recorder under her clothes. For the next four days, she recorded a series of abusive and cutting remarks from a teacher and a teacher’s aide at Miami Trace Middle School in Washington Courthouse, Ohio.

The father, Brian, and his daughter, Cheyanne (their last names were withheld in the interview), appeared on TODAY with their attorneys Tuesday as snippets from the secret audio tapes were played.

When asked by Ann Curry how all of this made her feel, Cheyanne simply replied, “Sad.’’

{photo: From left, teacher Christie Wilt and her teacher’s aide, Kelly Chaffins. Chaffins was asked to resign, but Wilt could enter a classroom again. }

‘Are you that damn dumb?’

The tapes reveal teacher Christie Wilt and her teacher’s aide, Kelly Chaffins, saying disturbing things to Cheyanne in the classroom. Cheyanne, who is now in high school, was in Wilt’s class for three years of middle school. Chaffins has since resigned, while Wilt had to undergo eight hours of anti-bullying and child abuse training. On Monday, Wilt was put on unpaid leave for the rest of the school year, but Cheyanne’s family is hoping to prevent her from ever teaching or working with special needs students again.

Wilt, who did not respond to requests for an interview, can be heard on the recordings alongside Chaffins calling Cheyanne “lazy” and “dumb.”

“Cheyanne, are you kidding me? Are you that damn dumb? You are that dumb?’’ Chaffins can be heard saying in one instance. “Oh my God. You are such a liar. You told me you don’t know. It’s no wonder you don’t have friends. No wonder nobody likes you because you lie, cheat.’’

On another occasion, Chaffins can be heard poking fun at Cheyanne’s appearance.

Cheyanne, don’t you want to do something to get rid of that belly? Well evidently you don’t because you don’t do anything at home. You sit at home and watch TV. All night. All weekend.’’

In one instance, Wilt informs Cheyanne she has failed a test before Wilt even takes a glance at it.

“You know what? Just keep it,’’ Wilt can be heard saying. “You failed it. I know it. I don’t need your test to grade. You failed it.’’

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