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Disturbing audio recording made inside an elementary school classroom in West Virginia

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A hidden recording device in a special education classroom is raising alarming questions about what went on inside a classroom at an elementary school in Berkeley County, West Virginia.

A warning: What you are about to read is disturbing.

Instructor #1: “I ought to back hand you right in your teeth. How is that for anxiety?”

According to parents, that’s a secret audio recording of an instructor talking to children inside a special education class at Berkeley Heights Elementary School in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Amber Pack sent her 8-year-old daughter to class with a recording device after the child didn’t want to go back to school.

Amber Pack sent her 8-year-old daughter to class with a recording device after the child didn’t want to go back to school. (WJLA)

Instructor #1: “This one I could punch her right in her face.”

A different instructor in the same class.

Instructor #2: “You got to go pee-pee? Pee-pee? Or do you not have to go pee-pee and you just want to go **** *** in a chair?”

There’s more:

Instructor #2: “I’m going to pull your hair until you start crying.”

Instructor #3: “Don’t throw it. Don’t throw. You animal you.”

Instructor #2: “Yep. You wench.”

Instructor #2: “You’re like a pygmy. You’re like a pygmy thing.”

The next day Pack alerted the school district and the Martinsburg Police Department.

“Do you think this has been going on for a while?” asked I-Team Reporter Scott Taylor.

“Yes. That was the first day I put the recorder in her hair,” says Amber Pack.

“One day you recorded all of this?” says Scott Taylor.

“One day. Eight hours,” adds Amber Pack.

You can hear the instructors sometimes singing songs and reading stories to students and other times:

Instructor #2: “How your tears dried up so quickly crocodile.”

Instructor #3: “And then she wants to destroy everything in sight.”

Instructor #2: “I’m a knock you out.”

“I couldn’t eat for three days. My stomach. I was so upset. Every time I looked at her I would start crying,” says Amber Pack.

Kasey Murphy who’s six-year old son, Owen, is in the same class says during a late October parents-teacher conference nobody alerted her to the recording even though Pack had already handed it over to the school district.

Kasey Murphy’s six-year-old son, Owen, is in the same class. (Photo: WJLA)

“I’ve never heard from the principal. Never heard from the Superintendent. I’ve never heard from any of them,” says Murphy.

It wasn’t until November after Pack posted a clip of the recording on Facebook that Murphy became aware of it.

Instructor #2: “I am gonna beat your butt for sure and Owen you’re gonna get one just just cause.”

“It’s sickening. People don’t even talk to animals like that and they are talking to non-verbal children who don’t understand why they are talking to them like that. They aren’t doing anything wrong,” adds Kasey Murphy.

On the recording, you can hear the instructors tease and refuse to give Owen food.

Instructor #1: “Growl at me. I dare you and you won’t get one. Go ahead. There is nothing says I have to give you a snack. Nothing.”

Instructor #2: “Looks like you get nothing Owen. Ha ha. Sorry buddy.’

The Berkeley County Prosecutor’s Office found no criminal wrong doing but County Prosecutor Catie Wilkes Delligatti told both mothers in a letter “I am not in any way condoning the verbal treatment of your children by the individuals in the classroom”.

Right now, all 3 instructors are on paid administrative leave.

“I don’t understand why you treated her the way you treated her. She didn’t deserve that. No kid does,” says Amber Pack.

The School District, which declined multiple interview requests, is still investigating and says State law prevents it from sharing information.

The Civil Rights Office of the U.S. Department of Education just opened its own investigation.

Only one of the three instructors has gotten back to us. She has no comment.

Embedded video

Scott Taylor ABC 7

@ScottTaylorTV

THANK YOU! Great questions tonight & love chatting with all of you! If you get a chance catch my I-Team Investigation tonight at 11 pm. Here’s a sneak peak:

See Scott Taylor ABC 7’s other Tweets

Both students mentioned in our investigation are now in different schools. Owen transferred to a new School District. Parents of both students tell ABC 7 News the children are very happy in their new classrooms.



Tyler Barker

Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.com


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