Christy Wilt and Kelly Chaffins, two teachers at Miami Trace Middle School have allegedly been caught calling a 14-year-old girl with special needs “dumb” and “lazy”, after she recorded them.
The girl’s parents, from Washington Court House, Ohio, feared their daughter was being bullied, they hid a tape recorder in her clothing.
The parents were stunned to hear teacher Christy Wilt, 30, and her aide Kelly Chaffins, 46 allegedly poking fun at the teenager’s weight and forcing her to run on a treadmill.
Kelly Chaffins, who had worked at the school since August 2008, was asked to resign by the district after her comments came to light.
But Christy Wilt still remains at the school, after the officials claimed her involvement “did not meet what the educational aide had done”.
The recordings, obtained by WBNS-TV News, were made over four days in April.
“Don’t you want to do something about that belly?” Kelly Chaffins is claimed to have said to the student.
The student responds: “Yes.”
“Well, evidently you don’t because you don’t do anything at home,” Kelly Chaffins says.
“You sit at home and watch TV.”
In another moment, Kelly Chaffins allegedly asks the student why she did not know an answer to a question. When the student responds “because I didn’t know”, the aide becomes abusive.
Kelly Chaffins says: “Are you kidding me? Are you that dumb? You are that dumb? Oh my God. You are such a liar. No wonder you don’t have friends. No wonder nobody likes you.”
On another recording, Kelly Chaffins allegedly reacts after hearing the parents have complained.
Kelly Chaffins says: “They are ridiculous. Well, you know what? They are liars raising a liar.”
Christy Wilt adds: “They are manipulators.”
The student’s parents also claims the audio reveals the girl was made to run on a treadmill for 15 minutes after getting an answer wrong.
Kelly Chaffins is heard shouting at her while she runs.
Miami Trace Middle School claimed the use of the treadmill was designed to “refocus” students, rather than punish them.
The student, now a freshman at Miami Trace High School, told WBNS-TV that the abusive comments made her “pretty sad”.
When student’s father heard the “nasty, rude comments”, “all of it ripped my heart out”, he said.
Before the recordings, the family had complained to Miami Trace authorities.
Superintendent Dan Roberts sent an email in response, saying there was “absolutely no truth” in the matter, and the complaint was “bordering on slander and harrassment”.
Confronted by WBNS-TV, Dan Roberts added: “When we found audio proof we acted immediately.
“We were distressed, very upset and angry by what was on those tapes.”
Instead of resignation, Christy Wilt will undergo a probation period, as well as eight hours of mandatory classes in how to recognize child abuse and stop bullying.
The sudent’s parents sued, and the school district subsequently paid $300,000 in damages.
The family’s attorney Dan Modarski said: “We were quite frankly shocked and disgusted with what we heard. What’s shocking to me is that there’s one teacher that is still employed by the district.”