Girl Says She Was Bullied In Class By Teacher
A 14-year-old special needs student claimed that she was the subject of bullying in the classroom from her teachers.
She said her educators made fun of her and had audio tape recordings to prove it, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.
The girl claimed that she was called lazy and dumb, and an educator made fun of her belly.
Her family hid a tape recorder on the girl because of her complaints. The recording revealed teacher Christy Wilt and former teacher's aide Kelly Chaffins criticizing the girl.
In a one portion of the tape, Chaffins became upset because the way girl answered a question.
"Are you kidding me?" Chaffins said. "Are you that damn dumb? You are that dumb? Oh my God. You are such a liar."
"I am not lying," the student said.
"No wonder you don't have friends," Chaffins said. "No wonder nobody likes you."
On another occasion, Wilt and Chaffins talked to the girl about her body.
"Don't you want to do something about that belly?" Chaffins asked.
"Yes," the girl responded.
"Well, evidently you don't because you don't do anything at home," Chaffins said. "You sit at home and watch TV."
"Ask your mom and dad to go for a walk," Wilt said.
"On the weekends they're busy," the girl said.
"Doing what? Watching TV?" Wilt said.
"Lazy," Chaffins said.
On another occasion, the teacher told the girl to climb on a treadmill that was placed in the class because she got an answer wrong. The district claimed that the treadmill is not used as punishment but to "refocus" students.
The 14-year-old spent more than 15 minutes on the treadmill. The speed seemed to have steadily increased along with the remarks, Aker reported.
When the treadmill apparently broke, the girl was told to run in place. When her parents called to complain, an audiotape captured Chaffins saying the teen's parents were "liars raising a liar."
The district demanded Chaffins' immediate resignation but not Wilt's.
"We were shocked and disgusted at what we heard," said Dan Mordarski, the girl's attorney. "What's shocking to me is that there is one teacher that is still employed by the district."
Wilt declined to comment for the story.
"We were distressed, very upset and angered by what was on those tapes," said Miami Trace Schools Superintendent Dan Roberts.
Roberts investigated the first complaint. According to an e-mail obtained by 10 Investigates, Roberts found absolutely no truth to it and warned the girl's family that their concerns were "bordering on slander and harassment."
"When we found the audio proof, we acted immediately," Roberts said.
Wilt was not suspended, he said.
"We felt the level of her involvement there did not meet with the level that educational aide had done," Roberts said.
According to the district, it would go along with the Ohio Department of Education decision on punishment.
The recently-issued ruling states that the teacher is required to take four hours of classes recognizing bullying and another four to recognize child abuse. If she fails to take the classes or has other incidents of unbecoming conduct, the state can enact a suspension.
10 Investigates was unable to reach Chaffins for comment.
The district recently settled the lawsuit for $300,000, Aker reported.
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