'Teacher rant' caught on secret recording device

FAYETTEVILLE, NC -- Parents turned to ABC11 after a Cumberland County teacher was caught threatening students on a secret recording device.

The audio was captured earlier this month inside a classroom for exceptional children at Alderman Road Elementary School.

Leona Cain said she never questioned teachers when they reported behavioral problems involving her fourth grade son, who often made the honor roll.

"We would always take their word for it and trust them. They're educators," said Cain.

When her son's grades started plummeting and the complaints started piling up, she became concerned.

"He now has C's and D's, and we're getting calls all the time, sometimes three to five times a week," she said.

A recent fight in the classroom and a change in her son's behavior prompted Cain to send him to school wearing a recording device.

She was appalled at what she heard.

"I don't even like somebody to be behind me when I'm on the board, because I might get mad and pop the mess out of you and then it would be my fault!" yelled a teacher on the recording.

The recording lasts nearly four hours and includes several instances of the teacher yelling at students and using threats.

"I was infuriated. I was disgusted. I was heartbroken," said Cain. "It's definitely abusing your power. It's abusive language. It's mental abuse."

Cain took the recording to the school's principal who reported the May 7 incident to district administrators.

Cain's son has not returned to class.

"To know for two years that you've punished your child when this is the type of stuff that goes on, it's not education that's being given in that classroom. It's nothing more than bad babysitters," said Cain.

Other parents say their children told them the teacher was out of control in class.

"My son was afraid of her," said parent Kimberly Ballez. "He would repeat 'I'm scared, she scares me, she scares me.'"

Ballez's 10-year-old son was moved to another class because he was being bullied.

"And the teacher's assistant, and the teacher, were in the room and did not prevent him from being harmed," Ballez explained.

ABC11 left multiple messages with Cumberland County Schools but has yet to hear back. null
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