Friday, April 27, 2012

How Far Would You Go To Give Your Child a Voice?

Recently in the news was the story a father from Cherry Hill New Jersey who felt like his son Akian Chaifetz was not acting his usual self. Akian who is a 10 year old boy diagnosed with autism did not have the voice to express to father why his mood had shifted from pleasant to moments of emotional outbursts. Stuart, Akian's father, began to grow suspicious of the school that Akian attended.

After growing frustration Stuart Chaifetz took a daring step and wired his son with a camera and microphone before sending him to school. What he discovered confirmed his suspicions. 

Mr. Chaifetz was so appalled by the behavior of Akian's teachers that he posted some of the video to YouTube and it has since gone viral with over 3 Million views!

There a lot of issues that have arisen from this case. Three I can immediately consider are; 

1. Did Stuart take the right steps in giving his son a voice?
2. What are the implications for schools if students have cameras on them?
3. How does the ability of "going viral" impact our profession?

Please take a moment to reflect on this pressing scenario. I appreciate all comments and welcome your own questions.

Below is a link to the full story including a video. You can also search the actual footage on YouTube.

Stuart Chaifetz, Father, Puts Wire On Son With Autism, Records Verbal Abuse From Teachers (VIDEO)