HOPE Academy calls actions of educators 'inexcusable,' school lifts silence
BATON ROUGE- Two weeks after the WBRZ Investigative Unit aired a story about educators mocking a special need student, the Board Chairman for HOPE Academy opened up in an on-camera interview calling the actions "inexcusable."
The story went viral after it aired and touched off outrage in Baton Rouge and across the nation.
"What happened was horrifying," Board Chair Brandon Black said.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit aired the audio clips of an exchange between the educator and the student.
"You're just writing the word," the educator said. "What is hard about it?"
Camden Davis makes an inaudible noise, then the teacher mocks it.
"I just wanted to cry, scream and do everything I could because it was so bad," Davis' mom Milissa said.
She said the recording confirmed what was happening at school after he began wetting the bed and getting aggressive.
"While this incident is incredibly unfortunate and should have never happened, it isn't who we are," Black said. "It's a school that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to special needs parents."
Black says his son has Down's Syndrome and is thriving at the school.
"I like spelling and math," Patrick Black told WBRZ.
Although more training is in order for employees, board members at the school said a top-down review will take place with a consultant to review and make recommendations on procedures.
When asked if Black faults Davis for recording the teachers and protecting her child, he responded, "Absolutely not. I have a Down Syndrome child and my child can't always communicate what problems he's having and I certainly understand her concern."
In addition to the measures above, the school is pricing surveillance cameras as an added layer of protection inside the classrooms.