After 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 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.