A couple in Albuquerque, New Mexico discovered how their young son was being treated in kindergarten after sending the child to school with a hidden tape recorder, KRQE News 13 reports.
Blake and Juliet Walker said they were concerned about their son, Alex, because he kept on coming home from school at Sierra Vista Elementary School in Albuquerque in an agitated mood. His teacher has also sent them notes saying that the 5-year-old misbehaved in class.
On two separate days, Nov. 10 and Nov. 13, the Walkers decided to investigate the situation by sending Alex to school with a USB audio recorder in his pocket.
When they listened to the two six-hour-long recordings over the weekend, they were shocked and upset about what they heard.
In one recording, Alex asked for help washing his hands and his teacher told him to "just shut your mouth right now."
"My hands are dirty," Alex said.
"I don't care," the teacher responded.
In the other recording, the teacher made a similar comment after Alex said he didn't like another student.
"You know what, put your hand down, and if you don't have something nice to say, keep your little mouth shut," the teacher reportedly snapped.
In another instance, the teacher said, "Alex is very rude," in front of other children and told the boy that he was acting like a baby.
In light of the recordings, the Walkers have decided to pull their son from Sierra Vista and homeschool him.
Officials from Albuquerque Public Schools told KRQE that they will investigate the tapes once the Walkers drop them off at the school district's headquarters.
The Walkers said they are not planning to send Alex back to Sierra Vista.
"It’s not the appropriate way to react, that you’re just going to tell the student to shut their mouth," Juliet said about her son's teacher. "What message is that telling the students when they hear that?"
“I don’t see any proper guidance, proper behavior, appropriate behavior,” she added. "I don't think she fits to be a teacher."
The couple also has a daughter, who is still currently attending Sierra Vista without incident.
This was not the first time a recording device was used to uncover the mistreatment of a child. In September, a 24-year-old babysitter in Tennessee was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse after a home security camera caught her beating her young charge, The Tennessean reported at the time.
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