Father of Autistic Boy Told Cherry Hill (N.J.) Schools: 'I Put My Faith in You'

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Friday, April 27, 2012

Stuart Chaifetz gave the Cherry Hill school district every opportunity to do the right thing by his 10 year-old son, Akian.

Things had gotten so bad in the special education classroom at Horace Mann Elementary School that Akian’s teacher, Kelly Altenburg, was sending home notes about the autistic boy’s physical aggression toward classroom staff.

Chaifetz knew that something about these reports was odd. Akian had never struck anyone. Altenburg was certainly no stranger, having taught the boy the year prior. He wasn’t hitting any other children—only Altenburg and her support staff.

“I started to see the scars forming, but he was fine when he was home,” Chaifetz said. “It was only when [Akian] went to school that he fell apart, and that is what tipped me off that there was something really wrong.”

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