By Sadef A. Kully
An alarming audio recording allegedly of the teacher accused of beating a special ed student in January at PS 118 in St. Albans was released Tuesday by the Cochran law firm and Paul B. Weitz & Associates, which are suing the city on behalf of the child.
Alexander Perry, a 36-year-old special education teacher at PS 118, was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors and one violations: physically assaulting a special ed student in his classroom Jan. 23, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment, according to court records.
Perry became a teacher in 2005 and has been at PS 118 at 190-20 109th Road since February 2012, the city Department of Education said.
“We ask that any parent whose children were in that classroom the day of the incident to come forward and tell us how Mr. Perry acted towards their children,” Paul Weitz said at a news conference at the
Cochran law firm in Manhattan.
On the four-minute audio clip a teacher, alleged to be Perry, can be heard hitting the boy, who is wailing for his assailant to stop the beating before a female teacher in the classroom at the time of the incident pulled the special ed teacher off the student.
An adult male voice in the audio is cursing, yelling at and punching a student as he accuses the student of cheating on a test, “Now go do the damned test before I smack your ass again,” the voice says.
A classmate secretly recorded the incident, according to the student’s lawyers, who have filed a $10 million notice of claim against the city as part of their intent to seek damages for personal injuries and severe psychological harm.
It could not be confirmed whether the voice on the audio was that of Perry or who had recorded the alleged incident.
“Based on the audio evidence we heard today, it is clear that Mr. Perry is totally unfit to be around children if he lets his temper get the better of him,” Weitz said.
∏Perry has retained a lawyer and is due back in court Feb. 26. Neither he nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.
The Cochran firm also released notices of claims from parents of other students Perry had taught complaining of assaults on their children and an indifferent attitude on his part.
“This audio clip clearly proves that Mr. Perry verbally and physically assaulted this student and made threatening actions to the other students in the room,” said Derek Sells, managing partner at Cochran. “We are disturbed by what we have heard on this audio file and we hope the Education Department takes swift and immediate action against Mr. Perry.”
The Department of Education has begun the process of terminating Perry’s employment. In line with the mandatory process to remove a probationary teacher, he received a discontinuance notice and is expected to be officially terminated soon. Perry was immediately reassigned away from the classroom following this incident, according to the Department of Education.
Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.