Two Alabama teachers were caught cruelly taunting and abusing a 10-year-old boy who has celebral palsy after the boy’s mother attached an audio recorder to his wheelchair.
The shocking recording captures two voices chiding Jose Salinas for his ‘disgusting’ drooling and reveals he was left alone with no instruction for long periods of time.
“Why is my paper wet” a female teacher is heard demanding on the tape. “Look at me and answer. That”s not an answer. That”s not even a word.”
“Do you seen anybody else at this table drooling Then, stop,” she said. “You have got drool all over yourface and it is gross.”
The teachers accused, Drew Faircloth and Alicia Brown, have been put on administrative leave from Wicksburg High School, Alabama, where Jose is in the fourth grade.
Melisha Salinas knew her son was not happy at school and he often came home sick but Jose always said he had a ‘good day’ when asked about it.
Abused: Two teachers taunted and told off Jose, who has celebral palsy, for drooling
In despair Salinas, a nursing student, took her son to a psychologist who told her the problem could be stress or anxiety but could not determine the cause.
Anexplanation came when one of Jose’s classmates told Salinas that the teacher’s aide had been mean to Jose three times that day.
Determinedto be sure of what was happening herself she attached a bugging device to Jose’s wheelchair and left it recording over three days.
Therecording revealed that her son was being cruelly taunted about his disability and ignored for the majority of the day with no-one giving him instruction.
“You drooled on the paper,” a male”s voice, allegedly that of teacher”s aide Drew Faircloth, can be heard saying. “That”s disgusting.”
“Keepyour mouth closed and don”t drool on my paper,” a woman”s voice identified as Alicia Brown is heard saying.”I do not want to touch your drool. Do you understand that Obviously, you don”t.”
Proud dad: Jose pictured with his beaming dad, Joe Salinas
After listening to the tapes. which she said “broke her heart”, Salinas immediately pulled her son out of the school.
“I could not believe someone would treat a child that way, much less a special needs child,” Melisha Salinas told ABCNews.com.
“The anger in his voices … and the thing he was getting angry about, [Jose] just can”t help.”
She played the tapes to the school board and the teachers were placed on administrative leave.
And Jose, who is known as Little Joe to his family and friends, was able to return to school.
Butwithin days the teachers were returned to their positions so Salinas and other parents took their children out of the school in protest.
Support: A Facebook group supporting Jose has already got 5,000 members
Feelingthat ‘nobody was listening’ Salinas took the recordings to her local newspaper and the teachers were placed on leave once again.
“There were some very disturbing things on the tape,” Superintendent Tim Pitchford told The Dothan Eagle.
“Employees were not very compassionate to the needs of the child and the symptoms of his disability. It did not appear on the tapes that there was much teaching going on.”
The recordings have shocked YouTube viewers and a Facebook page called “We Got Your Back Little Joe!!!” has nearly 5,000 supporters.
The school board are meeting on April 9 to decide what action to take against the teachers.