Teacher Who Bullied Special Needs Student Faces Disciplinary Action


New Jersey Teen Films Teacher's Rant

David Arnold, a Pennsylvania lawyer who has been representing the families of special needs children for the past decade, told ABCNews.com, "What went on there was disturbing on every level."

Not only was Julio "an especially vulnerable individual," the other students in the classroom had to witness the teacher's outburst, which implied "the way to resolve problems is to yell at people and threaten people. ... That's not what we want public schools teaching," Arnold said. Now Julio's mother, McCormick-Artuz, wants the school to take action.

"If they're charging this much of our taxpayer money, why can't they stick cameras in these classrooms instead of the hallways to protect children?" she asked.

Cameras would serve an added benefit, she said, because teachers would also be protected if students at the special-needs school ever tried to threaten them.

Artuz's parents said they had received positive progress reports about their son this year, and they thought he was having a relatively positive experience in school -- until they saw the video.

She and her husband told ABCNews.com they showed the video to the school's principal.

"He didn't even want to look at it, at all," said McCormick-Artuz. "He tried to make excuses."

Roth, who McCormick-Artuz said was present at the meeting, "had the smuggest look on his face," she said.

"He said, 'I've got to stand up for myself. These kids are hard kids,'" she added.

He also allegedly told Julio's parents he had "a bad morning with my wife," according to McCormick-Artuz.

"I lost my mind," she said. "How can you be a teacher?"

After the incident happened in October, Julio Artuz's parents said their son was bullied by other students, so they pulled their son out of the Gloucester County Special Services school district last week and are looking for a private school.

"It's not just about my son now," the father said. "It's about what's happening to these other kids who can't speak out for themselves."

The attorney representing the Artuz family, Scott McKinley, told ABCNews.com: "I can tell you, at this point, our primary concern is getting out the word as fast as we can so other children who feel they may be being verbally and physically abused in their schools will have the courage to come forward and report that right away. We're hearing a lot of about physical abuse today, but verbal abuse can be equally damaging."

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