06-04-2020  11:30 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

Two De La Salle North Grads Forge Thrilling Paths

A med student and a Fulbright scholar reflect on their time at the school.

OHSU Resident Uses TikTok, Student Outreach, to Show Representation in Medicine

A group of high school students weighing careers in health care were recently greeted on Google Meet by a physician whose social media star is on the rise.

More Protests in Portland, Mayor Signs Police Reform Pledge

More than 10,000 people demonstrated peacefully in Portland in one of the largest U.S. protests Tuesday

Black Leaders Call For Change in Policing, Change in Media Coverage of Demonstrations

The Albina Ministerial Alliance of Portland’s Coalition for Justice and Police Reform has a long history of working on a deep policy level to effect change in local law enforcement practices, often in response to police killings

NEWS BRIEFS

Business Donates Profits

On Sunday, June 7, the owners of Pine State Biscuits are donating all of their profits to the NAACP and ACLU from all five of their...

NAMC-Oregon Statement on Racism, Inequity & Violence Against Black People

All of us at NAMC-Oregon are angered and deeply saddened by the police murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and the...

Civil Rights and Social Justice Organizations Call for a National Day of Mourning Today

At 12:45 p.m. PT today, the NAACP is asking for everyone to take a moment of silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. ...

ACLU Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Minneapolis Police for Attacking Journalists at Protests

The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, Jared Goyette, a journalist covering the demonstrations, was shot in the face with a rubber bullet ...

Statement by AG Rosenblum on People of Color Caucus Recommendations

People of Color Caucus released policy recommendations yesterday pertaining to police accountability ...

Districts jettison school police officers amid protests

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An increasing number of cities are rethinking the presence of school resource officers as they respond to the concerns of thousands of demonstrators — many of them young — who have filled the streets night after night to protest the death of George...

Trail Blazers Damian Lillard joins Portland protest

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of protesters who gathered for the sixth consecutive night of protests in Portland, Oregon remained peaceful.The Portland Police Bureau said Thursday that a crowd estimated at 10,000 or more dispersed by 2 a.m. and there were no major issues.Gov. Kate Brown on...

Kansas, Missouri renew Border War with 4-game football set

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri are resuming their bitter Border War in football after the former Big 12 rivals agreed to a four-game series in which each school will play two home games beginning in September 2025.The fourth-longest rivalry in college football dates to 1891, but...

OPINION

Responding to Challenging Questions in a Nation Still in Upheaval

Nate McCoy attempts to answer tough questions in a letter to his sons ...

Mayor Ted Wheeler: Portland and the Path Forward

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler invites Portlanders, as public servants, to join him "in insisting that we never return to business as usual." ...

Local Business Leaders Share Messages of Hope

President, CEO of SAIF says each of us must move forward in "our understanding of the problem, in holding ourselves accountable for our own attitudes and biases, and in coming together, not apart." ...

Time to Stop Messing Around and Strike at the Root of Police Violence

Thomas Knapp says the root of police violence is the creation of "police forces" as state institutions separate from the populace and dedicated to suppressing that populace on command ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Police try to stop Floyd rally in Sydney due to virus fears

SYDNEY (AP) — Police challenged whether a Black Lives Matter protest planned for Saturday in Australia's largest city is too much of a virus risk, as demonstrators in the capital reminded the country that racial inequality is not a U.S. issue alone. In Canberra, organizers of a rally Friday...

The Latest: Australians draw parallels to inequality in U.S.

The Latest on the May 25 death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck:TOP OF THE HOUR:— Australians rally, draw parallels to inequality in U.S.— Protesters take to New York City streets after...

California curfews lifting amid peaceful protests

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California cities and counties cautiously lifted curfews after days of sporadic mayhem were replaced by peaceful protests and pledges by lawmakers to fight inequality.Marches and rallies Thursday in Los Angeles, San Francisco and elsewhere were marked by “Black...

ENTERTAINMENT

Lin Miranda doc postponed out of solidarity with protesters

NEW YORK (AP) — Just two days before it was to begin streaming, “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme," a documentary about the hip-hop improv group with Lin-Manuel Miranda and friends, has postponed its release out of solidarity with protesters. The group announced the postponement...

Senate confirms Trump's pick to lead Voice of America

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Senate voted along party lines Thursday to confirm President Donald Trump’s choice to head the Voice of America and other U.S. government-funded international broadcasters that have been the subject of harsh criticism from the White House. Despite...

New York Times says senator’s op-ed didn’t meet standards

NEW YORK (AP) — In an embarrassing about-face, The New York Times said Thursday that an opinion piece it ran by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton advocating the use of federal troops to quell nationwide protests about police mistreatment of black Americans did not meet its standards.Cotton's op-ed,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

The Latest: Czechs lift restrictions on regional travel

PRAGUE — The Czech Republic is lifting all restrictions on travel to neighboring Austria and Germany and...

Trump heads to rural Maine but won't escape demonstrators

WASHINGTON (AP) — Maine’s Democratic governor is urging President Donald Trump to watch his tone...

Emotions run high as anti-lynching bill stalls in Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate impasse over a widely backed bill to designate lynching as a federal hate crime...

Landslide in Arctic Norway sweeps away 8 homes

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Jan Egil Bakkedal had just prepared himself a sandwich when he heard a huge...

Germany's Merkel dismisses talk she might seek 5th term

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday firmly rejected suggestions that she might seek a...

Police think Madeleine McCann is dead; parents still hope

PRAIA DA LUZ, Portugal (AP) — German police said Thursday they presume a British girl who went missing in...

McMenamins
Geoff Mulvihill the Associated Press

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) -- Teachers hurled insults like "bastard," "tard," "damn dumb" and "a hippo in a ballerina suit." A bus driver threatened to slap one child, while a bus monitor told another, "Shut up, you little dog."

They were all special needs students, and their parents all learned about the verbal abuse the same way - by planting audio recorders on them before sending them off to school.

In cases around the country, suspicious parents have been taking advantage of convenient, inexpensive technology to tell them what children, because of their disabilities, are not able to express on their own. It's a practice that can help expose abuses, but it comes with some dangers.

This week, a father in Cherry Hill, N.J., posted on YouTube clips of secretly recorded audio that caught one adult calling his autistic 10-year-old son "a bastard." In less than three days, video got 1.2 million views, raising the prominence of the small movement. There have been at least nine similar cases across the U.S. since 2003.



"If a parent has any reason at all to suggest a child is being abused or mistreated, I strongly recommend that they do the same thing," said Wendy Fournier, president of the National Autism Association.

But George Giuliani, executive director of the National Association of Special Education Teachers and director of special education at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., says that while the documented mistreatment of children has been disturbing, secret recordings are a bad idea. They could, he said, violate the privacy rights of other children.

"We have to be careful that we're not sending our children in wired without knowing the legal issues," Giuliani said.

Stuart Chaifetz, the Cherry Hill father, said he began getting reports earlier in the school year that his 10-year-old son, Akian, was being violent.

Hitting teachers and throwing chairs were out of character for the boy, who is in a class with four other autistic children and speaks but has serious difficulty expressing himself. Chaifetz said he talked to school officials and had his son meet with a behaviorist. There was no explanation for the way Akian was acting.

"I just knew I had to find out what was happening there," he said. "My only option was to put a recorder there. I needed to hear what a normal day was like in there."

On the recording, he heard his son being insulted - and crying at one point.

He shared the audio with school district officials. The superintendent said in a statement that "the individuals who are heard on the recording raising their voices and inappropriately addressing children no longer work in the district."

Since taking the story public, Chaifetz, who has run unsuccessfully for the school board in Cherry Hill and once went on a hunger strike to protest special-education funding cuts, said he has received thousands of emails.

At least a few dozen of those he has had a chance to read have been from parents asking for advice about investigating alleged mistreatment of their children.

It's easy, he tells them.

"It was a simple $30 digital audio recorder. I just put it in the kid's pocket," he said. "Unless they're looking for it, they're not going to find it."

With more parents taking such action, he said, fewer educators may get out of line with the way they treat students who cannot speak up for themselves.

"For the tiny percentage of teachers that do it, I hope that they live in fear every day that a kid's going to walk in with a recorder," he said.

He gives just one caveat: "Make sure it's legal in your state."

Laws on audio recordings vary by state, but in most of the U.S., including New Jersey, recordings can generally be made legally if one party gives consent. Over the past decade, courts in New York and Wisconsin have ruled that recordings made secretly on school buses were legal, finding that there is a diminished expectation of privacy for drivers on the bus.

The recordings have led to firings in several states, criminal convictions of bus employees in Wisconsin and New York, and legal settlements worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in Ohio and Missouri.

Even if it is found to be legal, the recording could have a chilling effect on classrooms, says Giuliani, of the special-education teachers' group. Teachers could worry that every one of their words could be monitored. And a recording could be edited to distort the teachers' meaning.

He said that the rise of the secret recordings suggests it's time to discuss a way to make sure the most vulnerable children are not being mistreated in a more formal way.

"In classrooms where children are nonverbal, unable to communicate, defenseless," he said, "we should start to have a discussion of whether cameras in the classroom are necessary."

That's a move that the National Autism Association's Fournier also says is needed.

---

AP News Researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.

---

Follow Mulvihill at http://www.twitter.com/geoffmulvihill

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Photo Archives