Middletown— State Senator Joe Kyrillos (R- Monmouth), prime sponsor of the "School Children First Act" which reforms New Jersey's tenure system for educators, issued the following statement regarding reports that several Cherry Hill elementary school teachers and aides were recorded bullying a student with autism:
While at least one teacher's aide was dismissed by school officials, the father of this student alleges, and news accounts confirm, that other teachers and aides involved were simply reassigned.
If true, the incident is an indictment of our current system of tenure protections in public education.
There is no instance in which it is acceptable for a teacher to bully or abuse a student in that manner, nor when a witness to such behavior should not report their colleagues' misconduct to school administrators.
Nobody directly involved with the abuse of Akian Chaifetz, or who witnessed the abuse without reporting it, should be employed in a classroom. We need to reform protections to ensure that these individuals can be swiftly terminated, rather than just shuffled around.