Autism Light: Stuart Chaifetz
Stuart Chaifetz’ son Akian was attending Horace Mann Elementary School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey in the 2011-2012 school year and school officials reported that the 10 year old Akian was becoming violent at school. Stuart Chaifetz felt that there had to be some unknown reason for his son’s behavior and as a result he sent his son to school on February 17, 2012, with a hidden recorder to learn about his typical day at school. The shocking information Stuart Chaifetz learned in the recording did not just begin a mission to prevent other children in Cherry Hill, New Jersey from facing similar bullying in the future, but it has had ramifications that can be felt in the autism community around the world regarding the vulnerability to bullying of nonverbal students with autism at the hands of caregivers and teachers.
The following is the video Stuart Chaifetz made in April, 2012 to describe the situation and publically share what he uncovered. It has received over 4.5 million views on YouTube. Despite being understandably disturbed by what his son endured and his passion to protect any other children from being harmed by the school officials connected to the recording, in the spirit of an Autism Light Stuart Chaifetz stresses peace in the description of this video by saying, “Please do not harass anyone!!! I plead with you not to try to contact the teacher or aide or anyone involved with this issue.”
- Facebook. Stuart Chaifetz has started a Facebook page that now has over 45,000 fans called “No More Teacher Bullies”, where you can keep track of the ramifications of this situation and of his crusade to raise awareness of bullying against children with autism. The Facebook page is at http://www.youtube.com/user/StuChaifetz.
Media Attention: Stuart Chaifetz’ story was mentioned by national media, including the following:
You can also see an interview here that Stuart Chaifetz did with CNN.
For more information about Stuart Chaifetz and the ongoing ramifications of his anti-bullying efforts visit his website at http://www.hnva.net/teacherbully/.
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.