Recording Catches Teachers Mistreating Special Needs Student


Alabama state law does not allow superintendents to fire teachers on the spot, Pitchford said. He has to make a recommendation to the board, which makes the final decision.

"From day one, it was obvious where this was going to end with the employees," he said. "We knew where this process was going to end, but the process does not allow it to be immediate."

Salinas was shocked to hear the teacher and aide were back at school.

"They were back at the school and my children were there so I got them out of school and so did several angry parents," Salinas said. "I just lost all hope. Nobody was listening to me."

Neither Brown nor Faircloth responded to requests for comment from

The normally "shy and reserved" Salinas had hoped to handle the matter quietly with the school, but when the teachers were returned to their positions, she shared the recordings with her local newspaper.

The community has rallied around Jose. A Facebook page called, "We Got Your Back Little Joe!!!" has nearly 5,000 supporters.

"Wow! Sickening to hear any child treated like that," one person wrote.

Another wrote: "I cannot begin to imagine what your family and little Joe are going thru [sic] ... I don't even know you guys and I have cried many times hearing this. My heart breaks and I just would love to hug him over and over."

By Monday, the teachers were back on paid administrative leave, and on April 9 the school board will meet to decide what further action to take.

For now, Jose is back in school and his mother said he has been doing much better.

"He's so much happier when he gets home from school," Salinas said, adding that he hasn't been sick since the teachers were removed. Classmates have noticed the difference, too, telling Salinas that Jose is "smiling all the time, talking all the time, nothing but happy."

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