TIME
By Stuart Chaifetz
October 27, 2014

This is one part of a series of posts of readers’ responses to TIME’s “Rotten Apples” cover.

When I saw TIME’s cover saying it was nearly impossible to fire a bad teacher, I whispered “thank you.”

This is a very personal issue for me. My son, Akian, who has Autism, was verbally tormented by his teaching staff. I know this because I placed an audio recorder in his pocket after seeing him suffer emotional pain when he was in school. When I heard what had been done to him, my life shattered.

I released a video telling Akian’s story which has been seen nearly 5,000,000 times. I received thousands of emails from victims of teacher bullying and desperate parents seeking help because their children were suffering in school just as Akian had. I realized then how pervasive this plague of teacher bullying was and the vast array of people who have been severely damaged by it. In the end, tenure protected the teacher and she got to keep her job.

Tenure has become a weapon that is used to protect bad teachers and hurt innocent children and families. For Akian, for all those who have been abused, for all those yet to be abused, we must fight against tenure that protects cruel teachers and we must win.

In search of more discussion about TIME’s cover?

Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, responds here.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, responds here.

Christopher Ciampa, a teacher from Los Angeles, responds here.

Lily Eskelsen García, President of the National Education Association, responds here.

Courtney Brousseau, a high school senior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., responds here.

Billy Easton, the Executive Director of the Alliance for Quality Education, responds here.

Gary Bloom, former Santa Cruz City Schools Superintendent, responds here.

Educators from the Badass Teachers Association respond here.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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