Ok. Prepare yourself folks; this story is a particularly ugly one.
As the mother of a child with severe speech delays, this is one of my personal horrors; your child is not being able to tell you if someone is hurting them or is not treating them well.
That is why I am so intrigued by this tiny microphone. Wouldn't it be interesting to hear what your kid hears at school each day?
ATLANTA -- Stefan is an 11-year-old boy with Autism. A judge ruled he was physically and verbally abused at school.
11Alive has learned from the Deputy Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools that the teacher involved in this story is "no longer in the classroom."
Stefan cannot speak. He has Autism, and is non-verbal. He could not tell his parents -- couldn't tell anyone -- what happened to him. But he had a mother who believed, before this happened, that something was terribly wrong at his school.
Stefan went to Margaret Mitchell Elementary School, Buckhead, where he was doing well, but he was transferred to the Marshall School in DeKalb County in August 2008, due to renovations.
That's when the Ferraris say things started to fall apart. "I knew something was really wrong for the first time on September 8th," said Stefan's mother, Carolyn Ferrari.
That's when she said Stefan came home with bloody scratches, bruises and ripped shorts. His behavior over the next month deteriorated. "It was getting worse and worse," Carolyn said.
Marcelo and Carolyn Ferrari say they repeatedly told school officials they were concerned. So the mother of a boy without a voice found a way to give him one.
"It's about the size of a quarter," Carolyn said about a microphone she sewed into Stefan's shirt. She sent him to school with it on October 21.
It would be his last day at Marshall.