I've watched Stuart Chaifetz's video of the teacher and aide bullying his autistic son. It's heart breaking, but it's also something I already know is happening. Not only to special need students, but so called "normal" students too. Chaifetz points out that his son, and the other autistic students in the class can't tell anyone what happens in class. That's true, but it's also true that students that are bullied by teachers rarely speak up about it. The teacher is in authority, and who will believe you when you claim that the teacher is the bully?
One of the kids in my class was bullied by one of our teachers. The teacher was ex military and he had great authority. We all saw it happen, we all felt bad about it but no one had the strength to stand up to the teacher and stop the bullying. Personally I was close to be a bully victim too and I was fighting for my own school grades. The teacher had made it clear to me that he'd make sure that I got low grades if I caused problems. It didn't matter that I was a good student and did well in school, he still had the power to ruin my future.
Ruining the future is exactly what he did for the other kid. The bullying made him fail at his studies. He's had problems getting jobs and he ended up in alcoholism. The teacher moved on to becoming the headmaster of the school and he claims that there is no such thing as bullying at his school.
Stuart Chaifetz is doing the right thing. Not only for his son and his class mates, but for all bullied students in the system. This has happened before, people have stood up for what's right, but it's far from enough. The world needs more heroes that take on the battle against bullying as well as the basic human rights of students.
No More Teacher/Bullies
Teacher/Bully: How My Son Was Humiliated and Tormented by his Teacher and Aide