Parent’s undercover recording device captures teacher’s irate outbursts

A Cumberland County teacher is under investigation after a parent used a recording device to find out what was really happening in her son’s classroom.

“I won’t allow [my son] to step a foot back on school property until she is no longer there,” said Leona Cain.

She says her son Sammy kept coming home and complaining about how horrible his Exceptional Children class was at Alderman Road Elementary School.

In particular he complained about his teacher Ms. Evelyn Spell.

Cain says at first she didn’t believe him until things started getting worse.

“His psychiatrist said maybe try sending him to school with a recording device,” said Cain.

She bought a recorder online and sent it to school with Sammy, not expecting it to capture much.

She wasn’t ready for what she would hear.

“You want something to happen! But I’m tired! So somebody might just get hurt and I just might go to jail!” the woman in the recording yelled.

Cain says it’s Sammy’s teacher Evelyn Spell.

“This is my job! You don’t have to fix it! Leave it there!” the recording captured.

Cain says her son is bullied, harassed and assaulted in the recordings.

The four-hour recording captures the teacher yelling at students and discussing topics many parents find inappropriate.

“He likes violence, that’s what it is. Some people get off on that” the teacher on the recording said.

“You hear somebody speaking to your child like they’re a criminal,” said Cain.

It is day-to-day behavior that she knows now has taken its toll on Sammy.

“Sometimes when she yells at me, I just put my head down and just start crying because it’s that bad. I don’t even like nobody behind me when I’m on the board because I might get mad and pop the mess out of them and then it will be my fault because you was standing behind me,” Sammy said.

Kimberly Ballez’ son is also in Ms. Spell’s class.

“I was shocked and disgusted,” she said.

After a fight in the classroom her son came home with a gash in his head.

“When you find out that they were harmed and the teacher sat back and watched it happen and didn’t do anything to prevent it, it’s saddening, and frustrating,” said Ballez.

WNCN Investigates tried to talk to the principal about the teacher but she would only say it is being investigated.

WNCN went straight to the superintendent.

WNCN was told he was unavailable for an interview and that it was a personnel issue that could not be discussed.

We emailed again, asking for some kind of comment. Then at 4:30 p.m., Dr. Joseph Locklear, associate superintendent of Cumberland County Schools sent an email saying:

“When parent complaints are shared with principals or district officials, those complaints are taken very seriously and an investigation will take place. When it is a personnel matter, no information will be shared out with the general population. As a district we do want our parents and community members to understand that these matters are dealt with. We understand the importance of preserving the instructional integrity of the classroom and the learning experience of our students while maintaining the trust of our parents. Any disciplinary action that arises from an investigation will be predicated in our State and district policies.”

So far, the school district says “there has been no change in the teacher’s work status.”

“These teachers are supposed to be trained to handle kids with behavioral issues,” said Ballez.

“You feel like you failed your own children because you allowed that person to verbally and mentally abuse that child,” said Cain.

“These aren’t just kids who need spankings,” Ballez added, “These are kids who are on medication, who are in therapy, who are being treated like bad kids. They’re not bad kids they need people to treat them with respect.”

Watch the video above to hear the outbursts.

Copyright 2015 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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