Being a parent is not the easiest thing in the world, not by a long shot. Even if your child is perfectly behaved and healthy, it can still be a struggle to ensure that they know right from wrong and grow up to be successful, confident and mature adults. When the children also have behavioral issues or developmental disabilities, those struggles become that much harder to overcome.
Milissa Davis knows the struggle. Her autistic son Camden struggles with many tasks we take for granted, so as a child she took the extra time to ensure that he was able to succeed.
As he got older, she began to explore schooling options that she felt would give Camden the best chance to succeed later in life. She discovered the Hope Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and was instantly impressed with what they had to offer.
A quick meet and greet later and soon Camden was enrolled in the academy, which primarily serves the disabled community. They primarily work with students that have autism, Asberger’s syndrome, ADHD, learning disabilities, dyslexia, Down Syndrome, and minor learning challenges.
These teachers are hired due to their ability to teach and be responsible for a large number of disabled or struggling students, so Milissa felt that her son would be in good hands there. But soon he started coming home and acting out to his mother in anger. He also began having accidents at bedtime, and both scenarios were very unusual for the typically well-behaved boy.
Milissa had a hunch that something may have happened at school, so she sent him in with a concealed audio recorder in his backpack. What those tapes revealed at the end of the day shocked Milissa to her core.
“I just wanted to cry, scream and do everything I could because it was so bad,” she told WBRZ. “To think that I had sent my son there every day, and what had happened before, that I didn’t know about.”
The recordings included various instances of one particular teacher and assistant mocking the young boy and insulting him openly in class.
“Let’s see what they do with him in f****** public school,” the teacher said on the recording. “He was going to go to Live Oak Middle> He wouldn’t make it for a minute.”
“Camden, why don’t you have anything written down? That’s why you can’t sit with everyone. Tell your momma that,” she said to the 12-year-old.
Linda Stone, principal of Hope Academy released a statement, saying that the “recording contains regretful conversations between these adults.” Stone said that Milissa refused to meet with Hope Academy to discuss the changes they have made to “address the issue,” and goes on to say that both of the teachers involved were let go after an internal investigation.
“We ask that the community not let the actions of two persons reflect on the reputation and the mission of our school – a mission that we have tried so hard to build. We again extend an invitation to meet with the parent involved to discuss this incident further.”
Do you think Milissa handled this terrible situation properly? How would you react to discovering something like this?