When Stuart Chaifetz sent his 10-year-old son to New Jersey's Horace Mann Elementary School wearing a hidden audio recorder, he couldn't have predicted what he would uncover.
The move came in reaction to accusations from the school that his son Akian was having "violent outbursts," including hitting his teacher and teacher's aide -- claims that Chaifetz claims are against his son's "sweet and non-violent" nature.
Akian, who has Autism, returned with a tape containing hours of apparent verbal and emotional abuse from his classroom aide and teacher -- whom Chaifetz identifies as "Jodi" and "Kelly" -- a recording which his father later published on YouTube.
The two engage in inappropriate conversations, like joking about their alcohol abuse and sex lives in front of their students -- all of whom have behavioral conditions and, according to Chaifetz, communication difficulties that prevent them from relaying the conversations to their parents.
"You would never get away with talking about your alcohol abuse the night before if this was a mainstream class," Chaifetz says in the YouTube video. "And that's the point, isn't it? They knew none of those boys could go home and tell their parents that the person who ran that class was under the influence of alcohol and was throwing up."
As the tape continues, the teacher and teacher's aide's behavior turns from inappropriate to cruel.
"Who are you talking to, nobody?" Kelly asked Akian, who sometimes talks to himself. "Knock it off," Jodi chimed in.
According to the video, Akian became upset, and starting crying.
"Go ahead and scream because guess what? You're going to get nothing until your mouth is shut," the classroom official is heard saying. "Shut your mouth."
Due to his son's anxiety, Chaifetz, who is divorced from his wife, has to reassure Akian that he will return to his care after the boy spends time with his mother.
When Akian asked his teacher for the same reassurance, however, she answered "no," sending him into an emotional panic. The teacher's aide, too, responded cruelly.
"Oh Akian, you are a bastard," Jodi said, according to the audio recording.
Chaifetz said that the classroom aide was fired after the he presented the recording to school district officials, but that the teacher remains employed, though in a different classroom.
Susan Bastnagel, Cherry Hill Public School District spokesperson declined to comment on the teacher's continued employment, but told The Huffington Post that the incident is a "personnel matter that the district took seriously and handled appropriately."
“That my son's teacher was not fired and still works in the school district is an outrage I am not willing to allow to pass in silence,” Chaifetz said in an email to The Huffington Post.
“She betrayed my son and caused him great pain. If some union rule or HR regulation has allowed her to keep her job, then the law needs to be changed so that the next time a teacher bullies a child, especially one with special needs, they will be immediately fired. For me to do nothing would mean I was treating my son with as much disrespect as they had," he added.
Akian's troubling experience is not unique, nor is his father's method of exposing believed wrongdoing in the classroom.
"I have also been stunned by how many emails I have received from people with special needs who were bullied by teachers when they were in school, and from parents who have a situation that mirrors what I went through," Chaifetz told The Huffington Post. "These parents are desperate to find out what is happening to their child and have asked for help on how to wire them."
The revelation was shocking: the educators on the recording called the child lazy and dumb, and forced her to run on a treadmill with increasing speed.
"Don't you want to do something about that belly," former teaching aide Kelley Chaffins says in the recording. "Well, evidently you don't because you don't do anything at home. You sit at home and watch TV."
CORRECTION:A previous version of this article named Jodi Rosenfeld as the possible "Jodi" referred to in the video. Stuart Chaifetz has since confirmed that this is not the teacher he refers to, according to Collingswood Patch. Language has also been altered to better reflect the sourcing of information by Patch about the teachers' possible identities.