It’s a story that has touched thousands of Calgarians, and we are now hearing from the Grade 5 boy at the centre of a secret recording of a teacher berating a child.
The recording was arranged by a parent who believed her son was being bullied by a teacher at Grant MacEwan Elementary, and she wanted evidence to prove it.
Instead the recording captured the teacher scolding a fellow classmate.
The 10-year-old boy heard on the tape, and his father, volunteered to speak with Global News because they are outraged by what happened.
The boy, named Ashton, breaks down in tears as he talks about that day and the unsettling encounter with his teacher.
“Usually she’s nice to me,” he says. “That day she was – like – ‘Why are being so stupid? Why can’t you do this?’ I felt sad and mad because she was always nice to me and now I go through all this.”
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Ashton’s father Jason wasn’t aware of the exchange until he heard the recording on Global. It’s alleged the school was aware of the recording but did not tell the parents.
“I couldn’t believe it. I knew it was him – I didn’t want to believe it’s him.”
“The anger in her voice when she said ‘she’ll make you vanish’, what is a kid supposed to take from that? It scared him.”
Jason heard the recording with his son.
“When we looked over at Ashton, tears were rolling down his eyes and he just said ‘Dad, I don’t want to go to school. I am scared to see that teacher again.’”
Ashton’s parents have now removed him from the school.
“I was furious,” says Jason. “I wanted to go find the teacher, see her face-to–face, for being so cruel and mean to a child they’re supposed to keep safe.”
“Now (Ashton) has lost that faith in the school system – I don’t know how he’ll react in future years. He wants a fresh start somewhere else.”
Some of the students at Grant MacEwan say they had a substitute teacher for the past several days, but that the teacher in question is expected to return to class on Thursday.
The Calgary Board of Education continues to refuse to make a specific comment on the case because they say it is a personnel issue.