New Jersey teacher fired for mistreating students with autism

national-bullying-prevention-monthWarren, NJ – Jennifer Filo, a tenured teacher with the Morris-Union Jointure Commission, was fired due to what officials called an extensive use corporal punishment.

The ruling was upheld by state arbitrator Robert Simmelkjaer who, in a 44 page decision, says that Filo hit students, bent back their fingers, denied them breakfast, and encouraged students to fight back when hit. Filo also copied her students autistic behavior and a few if the were stupid.

According to Simmelkjaer, many of Filo’s students were low-functioning, non-verbal, and needed physical prompts to complete their work. Some were even prone to violence.

While the school operates ten months out of the year the behavior most concerning occurred June through August of 2014.

Filo’s attorney Timothy Smith alleges that the commission was involved in witness tampering. Filo’s three classroom aids testified against her and, according to Smith, each were told at the beginning of their interviews the direction is should go. Smith also contends that the commission denied existence of the interviews taped recordings but later furnished them. He said this alone should thrown out the arbitrators decision.

Counsel for the Morris-Union Jointure Commission Robin McMahon states that the tape was the teaching assistant’s file and not Filo’s and was therefore overlooked.

News outlet NJ.com quoted Simmelkjaer as saying that there was

“no evidence of procedural irregularity or appearance of impropriety that would warrant the dismissal of charges or specifications on procedural grounds.”

Contributed by Audrey L. Hollingshead 

Source: Justin Zaremba on the NJ.com website: Teacher fired after allegedly hitting, screaming at students with autism

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