Hidden Camera Uncovers Special Needs Student Abuse in Atlanta

atlanta-special-ed-abuse-imageAfter witnessing countless cases of abuse perpetrated by classroom aides on special needs students, an Atlanta teacher took matters into her own hands and set up a hidden camera — the resulting footage was shocking.

On Friday we were contacted by someone claiming to be the teacher and thanking us for providing the camera, the Black Box Micro HD, that she used to bring the aides to justice. As of this post, we haven’t been able to verify the tipster’s identity.

“Without your product these monsters would still be in the classroom terrorizing helpless

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students,” the email read.

The teacher, who has chosen to remain anonymous, took her allegations of abuse to Atlanta’s Harper-Archer Middle School administration, where she was informed that they wouldn’t investigate her claims. At that point, she set up the hidden camera and, over a four-day period, captured the aides choking, beating, and generally manhandling the non-verbal students.

“I haven’t been the same. I haven’t been able to return to the work environment,” the teacher told 11Alive in Atlanta.

In one of the videos, Alger Coleman, a behavioral specialist, hits one of the children in the head, knocking him out of his chair. Coleman then proceeds to put the child in a choke hold from behind.

“It was just outrageous. It was heartbreaking when I saw the video,” Sherry Cheely, the mother of one of the abused children, said in the same 11Alive segment.

Coleman and Keisha Smith, a paraprofessional, are now facing punitive action: Coleman was arrested on charges of battery and child cruelty after the video surfaced, and Smith resigned as of April 28 before a disciplinary hearing could be conducted, reports the Daily Mail.

Why school administration ignored the Good Samaritan teacher remains to be seen, as Atlanta Public Schools conducts an investigation.

“We are looking into all of the communications that took place,” said APS Superintendent Erroll Davis.

About the author  ⁄ Erik Helin

Erik is BrickHouse Security's copy chief. Hailing from the Midwest (Wisconsin), Erik moved to NYC in 2010, securing a job at BrickHouse shortly thereafter. Outside of work he writes about music, does freelance advertising work, and wastes his life on the internet. Aside from no-brainers like cheese and beer, Erik enjoys music, travel, TV, his cat, and Brooklyn.

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  • Elle O

    My child was in this class.. The alleged female abuser seen on the video has still not been charged as of May 21. School system told the parents NOTHING, until AFTER video was released to the media by the teacher. Video was taken in Feb. I found out on the NEWS on Apr 23. Those babies were being abused and they were just going to sweep it under the rug. APS has a LOT to answer for and they WILL answer.

    • ErikBrickHouse

      Hi Elle! I’m really sorry to hear about your son/daughter. It’s really heartbreaking to hear about child abuse, especially those with special needs, and ESPECIALLY those who are non-verbal. I really hope APS and APD step up and serve proper justice here.

  • Conniegarrick

    That is really sad to see. No measures have been taken that is the worst thing. Actions should be taken as soon as possible.


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