Tiffany Elfstrom is the mother of a 13-year-old boy named Jayden who attends Levi Fry Intermediate School, within Texas City Independent School District near Houston. Jayden has autism, which means that Elfstrom sometimes has to spend extra time on the phone with his teacher to communicate with her about issues he may be having at school.
One day, Elfstrom was in the middle of one of these phone conversations, listening to Jayden’s teacher tell her that he was refusing to do his work and wanted to go home, when something very unexpected happened. Elfstrom received two texts from the very same person she was in the middle of talking to on the telephone. And the content of the texts left her disgusted and disappointed.
“This lil [expletive] is crying like a baby for mommy because he wants to go home,” the first text read.
It was quickly followed by another text, which said:
“Omg I just want to omggggggg pull all my [expletive] hair out.”
“I just want to cry,” Elfstrom wrote in a Facebook post following the incident, “because I have put my most precious possession in this teacher’s hands this whole school year.”
Elfstrom claims the teacher’s excuse to her was that she was trying to send the texts to herself. “Now, I’m not tech savvy or smart,” Elfstrom says, “but I’m not tech-stupid, either.”
Elfstrom has spoken with the principal and assistant principal about the issue, and they have assured her that appropriate actions are being taken against the teacher, who has apparently been fired. Texas City ISD addressed the issue in a statement:
“The teacher admitted to sending the text but did not intend to send it to the parent. No matter her intention, the text is highly inappropriate and does not represent the character of people we want teaching our students. She was immediately removed from the classroom. We investigated the incident, and she no longer has a contract with our district.”
According to Elfstrom, the worst part of the incident is that Jayden’s teacher also has a six-year-old child on the autism spectrum. She, of all people, should be able to be more understanding and compassionate toward a young boy with autism-related behavioral issues.
The Autism Site wishes the best to Jayden and his mother. Thank you, Ms. Elfstrom, for standing up for your son’s right to learn in an environment free of impatience and judgment.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?