12-year-old Camden Davis, from Baton Rogue, Louisiana, had been attending the Hope Academy since last year. The academy specializes in teaching special needs students, and according to its website promotes “inclusion, encouragement, positive relationships and recognition of student accomplishment.”
Camden is severely autistic, and his mother Milissa had enrolled him at Hope Academy in the hope of giving him a supportive and understanding environment where he could learn at his own pace. However, she began to notice increased signs of distress in Camden after coming home from school and instinctively knew that something was wrong.
So one day, she decided to place a recording device in his backpack to get an idea of what might be causing his unhappiness, as he was unable to vocalize it himself. It’s fair to say that she was shocked with what she found. Camden was being bullied. Not by classmates or kids in the playground, but by the specially trained teachers who were supposed to support him.
“I’m sad and heart broken that this happened to Camden,” Milissa told GIGGAG. “I am his biggest advocate and his biggest fighter for justice. No child should have to have this happen to them. I brought this to light because I wanted my son to be the last kid that this happened to at this school. This is happening all over the world, and people need to learn to accept kids and adults with Autism. They have a light in them that shines so bright.”
Camden is at a new school and his new teacher has a degree in special ed, Applied Behavior Analysis, and a minor in psychology, so he is being well treated now. However, he still suffers some effects from his experience. “He still is having severe anxiety and wetting the bed,” Milissa told us. “He had not wet the bed since he was 3.”
“Bullying is terrible when it’s kids-on-kids. But it’s so much worse when it’s adults picking on your child.”
Scroll below to see how the story unfolded.
Image credits: Google Maps
Image credits: Spy Equipment UK (not an actual photo)
Image credits: WBRZ Channel 2
Milissa pulled Camden out of the school immediately and has sought legal advice. Her social media post about the incident went viral but has since been removed, while the teachers involved appear to have been fired from the school. Hope Academy’s principal, Linda Stone, released this statement about the incident:
“On March 23, 2018, a recording posted to social media was brought to our attention. Apparently, a parent sent a student to school with a recording device in his/her backpack. The recording appears to be a compilation of audio clips, many of which involve private conversations between two adults with no other persons/children present. The recording contains regretful conversations between these adults.
The parent never brought the recording to the attention of Hope Academy before posting it on social media. The parent has also refused to meet with Hope Academy to discuss the actions we have taken to address the issue. The persons involved in the communications are either no longer with the school or will no longer be with the school after this semester.
Over these many years, Hope Academy has built a strong reputation for competently serving the educational needs of the special needs community. These recordings are not an indication of who we are. We ask that the community not let the actions of two persons reflect on the reputation of and the mission of our school-a mission we have tried so hard to build. We again extend an invitation to meet with the parent involved to discuss this incident further.”