Camden Davis’ mom wasn’t sure what to do after his behavior took a turn for the worst. She reached out to the school to see if they knew why her son’s attitude had changed, but no one seemed to care. Then, she decided to do a little investigating of her own, but what she uncovered left her absolutely stunned beyond belief.
As a married mom of two young boys, Milissa Davis from Baton Rouge, Louisiana loves her job because she gets to work with mini horses that are trained to be therapy animals. But her 12-year-old son, Camden, really keeps her busy because he’s a special needs child. Naturally, she’s protective, so when he started behaving oddly, she realized she had to do something.
Milissa considered herself lucky once Camden got into the Greater Baton Rouge Hope Academy. “Inclusion, encouragement, positive relationships and recognition of student accomplishment,” are things the school promotes. She was banking on the fact that the school could provide him with an environment that would help him succeed in school. It turns out, she was wrong.
Milissa noticed unusual changes in Camden’s attitude a few months after school started. He was more anxious, aggressive, and he was wetting his bed, which is something he had stopped doing when he was 3. But when she asked her son if anything was wrong, he wouldn’t tell her. But, as a mom, she wasn’t about to give up that easily.
Milissa suspected that his odd behavior had something to do with his new school, so she paid Hope Academy a visit and tried speaking with the school officials, including the principal, about where Camden’s assigned seat was located and a few other things that didn’t seem right. But the school wasn’t very accommodating. That’s when Milissa decided to take a different approach.
Milissa placed a tape recorder inside Camden’s backpack and sent him on his way. She was hoping that the device would give her some clue as to what was really going on at the school. She realized that her measures might have seemed a bit desperate, but since that school hadn’t helped her, she didn’t have any other choice. When Camden came home, Milissa was eager to hear what was on the recording.
After grabbing the recorder from her son’s backpack, she rewound the tape. She knew that she’d have to listen for several hours, and there was a good chance that there was nothing on the tape. And she was right, at least, in the beginning. The audio device recorded the start of a typical school day. Then she heard a conversation that sent chills through her body.
Milissa heard Camden’s teacher getting upset with him because he didn’t do a writing assignment. This might have been fine at a normal school, but children with special needs react differently to this form of discipline. Plus, the teacher was very condescending. She even mocked Camden as he attempted to talk. Milissa was horrified but kept listening, and she hadn’t heard the worst yet.
Milissa was stunned as she heard the teacher and her teaching assistant talking. There didn’t seem to be any children in the classroom, but they were obviously standing close to her son’s backpack. Sadly, they were making lots of derogatory remarks about Camden. They even used swear words. Milissa was in utter disbelief.
“I just wanted to cry, scream and do everything I could because it was so bad,” explained Milissa. “To think that I had sent my son there every day, and what had happened before that I don’t know about.” Now that she had proof, Milissa went to speak with school officials. But once again, they dismissed her concerns. But this time, she refused to allow anyone to ignore her.
Milissa took Camden out of Hope Academy. But she couldn’t let go of what had happened. She figured that the other special needs children didn’t deserve these teachers who were so unprofessional. So she decided to do something that caught the school’s attention. She shared the audio on Facebook, and it actually worked.
The audio post went viral, which forced the school to finally do something. Principal Linda Stone made a public statement where she explained that one of the teachers was fired and the other teacher would be dismissed by the end of the semester. She also invited the David family to meet and discuss this issue with her and the other school officials. But Milissa had a better idea.
Milissa hired an attorney named Charlotte McGehee. She wanted to file a suit against the Department of Education. Milissa told Bored Panda: “No child should have to have this happen to them. I brought this to light because I wanted my son to be the last kid that this happened to at this school.” This forced the school to immediately terminate the second teacher. Of course, people continued to share their opinion over what happened online, which uncovered a shocking trend.
Those who had seen Milissa’s post congratulated her for taking swift action and for being the voice of special needs kids. But others also posted their personal horror stories of how educators abused children. Milissa was overwhelmed by the love and support she received worldwide. She also opened a P.O. box so people could send Camden gifts and letters. Meanwhile, she worked hard to get her son to focus solely on school.
Camden was transferred to another school, and Milissa made certain that the teachers were professionals. It turns out that Camden’s new teacher has a degree in special education and Applied Behavior Analysis because she minored in psychology. Unfortunately, the trauma of Camden’s experience by his former teachers continue to haunt him. Milissa believes that with some love and support, her son will become the sweet boy he used to be.