When Matt Adar’s son began coming home from Pasadena Lakes Elementary School and screaming and swearing for no apparent reason, Matt and his wife, Miriam, knew they had to do something to find out where he’d learned that kind of language.
“My son mimics everything he hears,” said Matt. “He was saying it in an aggressive tone. ‘Get over here, I’m going to f*** you up. Get over here, I’m going to mess you up.’ So I knew that it was an authoritative figure.”
Matt and Miriam attached a recording device called AngelSense to their son’s backpack and sent it to school with him to see if they could figure out more about what was going on. What they heard when they called the device to listen in was shocking and disturbing.
“So do your work. (Inaudible) Drag your a** over there. Watch me. Try me,” one teacher says.
You can also hear the adults cursing in several parts of the recording. For example: “That mother (expletive) say (expletive) to me.”
The things the Adar family heard on their listening device were apparently targeted at several different children in their son’s class. Most of those children are non-verbal. “I was just mindblown because it never even entered my mind that a teacher is capable of doing such a thing to a child,” said Miriam. “He is defenseless.”
“You better not touch me or scratch me you understand?” scolds one woman on the recording. “You are getting a diaper change!”
In one clip, a young girl named Mercedes can be heard screaming in the background while a teacher shouts, “Why are you not doing your work? Why are you not doing your work? Go to timeout. Go to timeout.” Her parents say that recording was taken the same day their daughter came home with a sizable bruise on her arm.
“That is fear. That is panic,” said Mercedes’ mother, Gisela Lopez. “She was in pain. She was in real pain. I know that cry.”
Since the listening device gave parents a glimpse into their children’s classroom, many of them have been scared to send their children to school. They’ve notified the Broward Sheriff’s Office, and an investigation is underway.
Broward Schools is also investigating the situation and issued a statement, saying, “Upon becoming aware of allegations involving a teacher and teacher’s aide, school administrators took swift action and immediately removed the employees from the classroom.” The teacher and aide involved have been reassigned while officials determine what to do.
Hear more of the teachers’ inappropriate and angry comments, as well as the parents’ responses, in the video below.
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?