ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A couple says their son won’t be going back to Sierra Vista Elementary in northwest Albuquerque anytime soon after finding out how their son’s teacher treats him.
“I don’t see any proper guidance, proper behavior, appropriate behavior,” Juliet Walker said about the kindergarten teacher.
Last Tuesday and Friday, Walker and her husband placed a USB audio recorder in their child’s pocket and sent their 5-year-old, Alex, to school.
Walker says she did it because her son was coming home each day seemingly agitated. The parents were also receiving notes from the teacher that Alex has behavioral issues.
She wanted to use the recorder to get to the bottom of what was wrong to correct the behavioral issues.
But when she and husband Blake listened to the two 6-hour-long recording over the weekend, they were surprised and angered at what they found.
At one point in a recording, Alex continually asks for help cleaning his hands.
Finally, an adult voice is heard saying, “Just shut your mouth right now.”
“My hands are dirty,” Alex responds. “I don’t care,” the adult voice says back.
The Walkers are sure that this is his teacher who’s saying these things.
In the other recording, the same adult voice says something similar after Alex makes a remark about ‘not liking’ another student.
“You know what, put your hand down, and if you don’t have something nice to say, keep your little mouth shut,” the voice says.
“If my son is not behaving what they’re expecting to, at least the teacher should show the proper way of disciplining them,” Walker said.
It’s because of the recordings that the Walkers have pulled Alex out of the school and plan to now homeschool him. The couple’s daughter still attends Sierra Vista with no issues.
The recordings also capture that adult voice saying “Alex is very rude” in front of other students, as well as telling the child that he is acting like a baby.
But the adult voice twice telling Alex to shut his mouth is what really sent his parents over the edge.
“It’s not the appropriate way to react, that you’re just going to tell the student to shut their mouth,” Walker said. “What message is that telling the students when they hear that?”
The Walkers don’t plan to ever send Alex back to Sierra Vista, as of now.
“I don’t think she fits to be a teacher,” she said.
KRQE News 13 reached out to APS for comment on the matter.
APS officials said they can’t investigate what happened until they hear the audio recordings.
The Walkers say they tried to give them to school’s principal, but she wouldn’t take them. They plan to drop off the audio at APS headquarters soon.