When parents send their children to school, they expect that teachers and staff will take care of their children and give them everything that they need to learn and feel comfortable. When Milissa Davis sent her 12-year-old son to school, she noticed drastic changes in his behavior. So, to get to the bottom of what was going on with her son, she put a recording device in his backpack. The truth would completely shock her.
Wanting the Best
Parents want the best for their children, which is why Millisa Davis sent her son, Camden, to a new school in Louisiana. After much research, Millisa decided that this school would be perfect to help her son develop and learn.
Camden was diagnosed with autism when he was very young. This meant that he would face some challenges when it came to learning and participating in school. So, Millisa wanted to send him to the best school possible.
Finding the Perfect Fit
When it comes to educating a child with autism, it’s important that they are provided the right resources for what they need. When Millisa and her husband were looking at schools for Camden, they thought they had found the perfect fit.
Millisa found Hope Academy and was thrilled with the information she received from them. They seemed like the perfect school for Camden to excel in. They offered just the right support he would need to learn.
Hope Academy specialized in teaching children with autism, so it isn’t your typical elementary school. While the price tag to attend the school was a little hefty, Millisa was willing to make some cut backs to give her son the education he needed.
Change in Behavior
A few weeks after Camden started school at Hope Academy, Millisa noticed her son’s behavior changed drastically. She couldn’t think of why he was acting so differently.
Stressed and Angry
Typically, Camden was calm and respectful towards his parents. However, in the recent weeks of starting school, he became very stressed and would act out against his parents. He would be aggressive and impatient towards them.
Not Quite Right
Milissa noticed that Camden’s behavior was at its worst when he would come home from school in the afternoon. Finally, she realized that something at school must be making him so agitated.
At first, Milissa thought that Camden was being bullied by some classmates at school. She also worried that he wasn’t getting the socialization he needed.
Raising the Issue
Milissa went to the school’s principal, Linda Stone, with her concerns about Camden. Not only did she want to find a way to help her son, but also wanted to make someone at school aware of his behavior change. Unfortunately, Linda wasn’t was helpful as Milissa had hoped.
Pursuing an Answer
Milissa wasn’t ready to give up on her son. She noticed that his behavior was just getting worse. So, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
Mom in Charge
While the school wouldn’t help Milissa find out what was going on with her son, she decided to take charge. She wasn’t going to let her son be mistreated by students and affect his learning experience.
Milissa decided to hide a recording device in Camden’s backpack so she could hear what went on at school. Hopefully she would collect evidence that Camden was being bullied and socially excluded. Then she could bring it to the principal.
Waiting for the Truth
After Milissa put the recorder into her son’s backpack, she couldn’t do anything but wait. She was in agony waiting for her son to come home from school that day. She had to know what was going on in his classroom.
Listening to the Recording
Once Camden got home from school that day, Milissa was anxious to hear what the recording device picked up. Unfortunately, all of the recording was muffled and she couldn’t make out anything that was said.
The Truth Revealed
Milissa was about to give up when she heard a distinct voice on the recording. It wasn’t a student’s voice, but the teacher’s voice. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
Can’t Believe Her Ears
The more Milissa listened, the more shocked she became. While Camden was taking an exam, she could hear his teacher mocking him and saying, “What’s hard about it?”
The longer Milissa heard the teacher harass her son, the angrier she became. Milissa also learned that Camden was isolated from sitting with the other students because he hadn’t written anything down on his test. “Tell your momma that,” the teacher could be heard saying.
Milissa also heard the teacher speaking with her assistant saying that “he wouldn’t make it for a minute” in any other school. Milissa was furious at how the teachers viewed her son and how he was being treated.
Bullied by His Teacher
Never in a million years would Milissa have thought that her son was being bullied by his teacher. She had figured it was the other students who were making his life miserable, not someone he was meant to trust.
Fighting for Justice
Milissa knew that she couldn’t just let this story go. She wanted justice for her son and any other students who may have been treated this way by Hope Academy. So, she took the story to the media.
Milissa wanted more than just attention drawn to Hope Academy, she wanted to take legal action against the school. She hired attorney Charlotte McGehee to help her go after Hope Academy. Charlotte assured Milissa that they had the law on their side, especially because she had concrete proof.
Milissa had chosen Hope Academy because she was under the impression that her son would receive special care and attention. Unfortunately, he was singled out and mistreated, as no child should ever be treated. The Davis family was extremely disappointed in the school.
Exposing the Story
At the suggestion of her attorney, Milissa released the tape of Camden’s teacher verbally abusing him. The press picked up the story quickly and the community was outraged.
One local news station had called Hope Academy with an interview request, but they were denied. The only information they received was that the school had a board meeting to discuss the incident.
Trying to Resolve the Situation
Hope Academy tried to rectify the situation by firing the teachers involved in the abuse. They also promised to be more selective when hiring new staff personnel. They wanted to uphold the school’s reputation and keep the respect of the community.
While the school promised that nothing like this would ever happen again, Milissa decided to pull Camden from Hope Academy and find another school for him. Hopefully Camden will be able to heal from the abuse he received and move on with his education.