Is your child’s cell phone a secret weapon?

Recently we came across a story in which a disabled girl exposed her violently abusive father by filming his attacks and uploading the video footage to YouTube. Another story we highlighted involved a coach who was recorded screaming at his high school football team in the locker room.

In a similar case, a father who was frustrated with his special needs daughter’s complaints of bullying at school kitted her out with secret recording equipment, and caught the bullies at work: It was the child’s teachers who were mocking her, verbally abusing her and forcing her to run on a treadmill as punishment, according to NBC.

The teachers and the principal had claimed the girl, Cheyanne,  was lying, until the tape recordings were made public. The teacher and her aide can be heard on the recordings calling Cheyanne “lazy” and “dumb.”

“Cheyanne, are you kidding me? Are you that damn dumb? You are that dumb?’’ The aide can be heard saying in one instance. “Oh my God. You are such a liar. You told me you don’t know. It’s no wonder you don’t have friends. No wonder nobody likes you because you lie, cheat.’’

On another occasion, they can be heard poking fun at Cheyanne’s appearance: “Cheyanne, don’t you want to do something to get rid of that belly? Well evidently you don’t because you don’t do anything at home. You sit at home and watch TV. All night. All weekend.’’

Still further evidence of the emotional abuse included the teacher informing Cheyanne she has failed a test before the teacher even takes a glance at it. “You know what? Just keep it,’’ she can be heard saying. “You failed it. I know it. I don’t need your test to grade. You failed it.’’

The teacher had been responsible for teaching Cheyanne for three years before the tapes were made. A teacher’s aide was dismissed, and the teacher herself put on long leave.

Should your child become a detective?
It’s shocking that this abuse occurred, obviously, and even more so that the school denied it, but these instances have proven that recordings can do what a vulnerable child can’t always manage: Recording abuse, whether on video, tape or a cell phone, can be one way for a kid to get adults (and the authorities) to listen. Digital recordings are not always accepted as evidence in criminal trials, though.

Of course, your child would have to make sure that they weren’t caught in the act, or they could face even worse victimisation.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

If your child said they were being bullied, or was the victim of ongoing abuse, would you encourage them to record it in order to expose the perpetrators?

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