It’s natural for parents to worry about their children. The world can be a dangerous place, so it doesn’t take much for a kid to go off the rails and land themselves in trouble. It’s more concerning if a parent isn’t worried about their child, although some moms and dads can certainly take things a step too far. There’s a difference between being protective and being overbearing, and it’s very easy to blur the lines between the two.
One mother who was on the verge of going too far was Milissa Davis. The parent of a 12-year-old boy from Louisiana went to great lengths to keep her son safe, including bugging his backpack with a recording device. However, there was nothing malicious about this mom’s actions – quite the opposite, actually.
After her son started displaying uncharacteristic behavior, Milissa grew concerned that something was going on at his school. Unable to get the answers she was looking for, she went to drastic measures to uncover the truth, and what she discovered left her completely lost for words.
Watching over him
Milissa Davis always did whatever she could to look out for her son, Camden. He was her own flesh and blood, and there was no-one in the world more important to her than him.
However, she couldn’t watch over him every second of the day. There were times when she had to let him go and hope everything would be okay. Unfortunately, it was in those moments that everything in Camden’s life fell apart.
Time for school
As a child with autism, life has been difficult for Camden. He doesn’t see the world the way others do, including his mom, often leading him to feel isolated and different. Although Milissa has done everything she can to tend to his needs and ensure he’s always comfortable, that’s still a big task for one person. When it came to sending Camden to school, she had the difficult job of finding somewhere that could cater to her son’s needs while still providing a good education.
Luckily, it seemed she’d found the perfect place in Hope Academy. The private school was established to help children with special needs like Camden’s, meaning they had the staff and resources to provide for his autism. Milissa figured she’d struck gold when she found this place, especially with its message of inclusion and encouragement. However, all was not as it seemed.
Finding his place
Milissa was well aware of the risks that came from sending her son to school. There had been issues before, with bullying being the worst of them. Other kids struggled to accept Camden because he was different, and it made the boy feel like he didn’t belong anywhere. However, Hope Academy was supposed to change all that. It had a good reputation and was designed for kids with special needs, so there was no reason for bullying to be an issue any longer… right?
Well, perhaps not. Although everything seemed to be going great for the first few weeks, things took a turn for the worst when Camden’s behavior started to change. It was initially just small tweaks here and there, but it soon became clear that something was unsettling her son. He was acting in ways that were entirely unlike him, and it made Milissa fear the worst.
Not like him
Camden had always been a mild-mannered and compassionate child, particularly around his mother. Although his autism was a struggle, he had his mom there to lean on and provide support when others didn’t. However, despite their strong relationship, he began lashing out at her after starting at Hope Academy. He was losing his temper quickly and letting it all out on Milissa who had no idea what was going on.
What’s more, he was also wetting the bed, a problem he hadn’t had since he was a toddler. His behavior brought up a bunch of red flags, and Milissa was sure it had something to do with his new school. Everything had been fine before he’d started going there, and now all of a sudden he was outing act and pushing his mother away. Something was going on in that place, and she was determined to find out what.
At an impasse
To try and get to the bottom of what was happening, Milissa arranged a meeting with the school’s principal. Perhaps they knew something that she didn’t which would help her understand why her son was acting so differently. Unfortunately, the principal had no answers for Milissa. If anything, they were dismissive of the suggestion that something untoward was happening in their school.
They assured the concerned parent that Camden was fine and he wasn’t being bullied, but that wasn’t good enough for Milissa. She knew that something was up with her son, and it was connected with his school. So, she took it upon herself to do an investigation of her own. If the principal was hiding something from her, knowingly or not, she was going to uncover the truth. There was just one problem – how could she infiltrate Hope Academy without being spotted?
The perfect plan
As much as Milissa hated the thought of spying on her son, she knew it was the only way to find out what was going on. So, when she rediscovered her old tape recorder, she realized that the perfect opportunity had fallen straight into her hands.
With that device, she could record Camden’s day at school and see if she heard anything that sounded inappropriate. The plan might not work, but it was the best hope she had of learning what was going on with her son.
Questioning her ethics
It was easy enough to put her plan into action. All she had to do was slip the gadget into Camden’s backpack without him noticing, turn it on, and wait for it to record what he got up to.
Milissa knew it was a massive invasion of her son’s privacy, and that thought made her feel uncomfortable. However, if this was what it took to finally explain Camden’s erratic behavior, then she couldn’t see any other choice. She was just trying to be a good mother looking out for her son.
Counting down the hours
As the hours passed by, Milissa struggled to focus on her work. All she could think about was whether the device had picked up anything at Camden’s school, or if her son had uncovered the recorder in his backpack.
When he eventually came home, she knew it was just a matter of time before he went to bed and she could listen to the tape. There was a strange mixture of excitement and nerves as she waited for the big moment, but she wasn’t prepared for what she was about to hear.
Uncovering the truth
At first, the recording didn’t give away much. It mostly caught garbled sounds that didn’t amount to anything. However, before Milissa could name her plan a failure, she heard something that made her blood run cold.
It was the sound of a teacher screaming at her son and mocking him. She was imitating Camden in an insulting manner and attacking him for not being able to do his work. It was unpleasant for Milissa to listen to, but it wasn’t the worst thing her son’s backpack had recorded.
As Milissa listened to the tape, the pieces started to all fit together. It wasn’t the other students that were bullying Camden and making him lash out – it was the teachers! Her fears were confirmed further on in the recording when the sound of two adults could be heard insulting the 12-year-old.
They threatened to send the boy to public school, joking that he wouldn’t last a minute there. These people were supposed to be responsible for looking after Camden at school, but instead, they were just making his life miserable.
Ready for revenge
After hearing the way these teachers spoke to her son, Milissa knew she’d done the right thing by bugging the boy’s backpack. Not only had she uncovered what was making Camden so miserable, but she also had proof that this was going on at the school.
With that, she’d hopefully be able to get justice for what her son had been put through. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be able to reverse the damage that the teachers had already done with their hateful words and inability to show compassion.
If Milissa was going to get justice for her son, she was going to do it the right way. That’s why she got in contact with Charlotte McGehee, a lawyer who was more than willing to take on her case.
In her eyes, the abuse that Camden had received was horrific, especially considering his autism. Given he was someone with special needs, he required more attention and affection than most other kids. However, he ended up getting the complete opposite at school, something that deeply unsettled McGehee.
Going to the press
Under her lawyer’s guidance, Milissa released the audio footage of her son being bullied to the press. It immediately caused a stir, with many other parents in the area being appalled by what they heard.
Those with kids at Hope Academy were concerned that this wasn’t just an isolated incident, and that forced the school to take action. They fired the teachers responsible for bullying Camden and held an emergency meeting to try and manage the fallout from the tape. Things had to change to stop this from happening again.
Putting things right
Determined to better themselves after all the drama, the staff at Hope Academy took steps to make the school a safer place for all their students. They changed the way that teachers were hired, making the process more rigorous to ensure they were suitable for the job.
They also introduced a sensitivity training program so that everyone working at the school knew how to talk and behave in various situations. This, combined with new security cameras in the classrooms, would hopefully make up for letting Camden’s case fall through the cracks.
However, despite what the people at Hope Academy did to make it a safer place, Milissa still couldn’t trust them with her son. She pulled him out of school with the intention of finding somewhere else that could meet his needs without mocking his autism.
Although she’s grateful that Hope Academy has made the necessary changes to prevent future incidents, she’ll never be able to forgive them from mistreating her son. This is one mom you don’t want to get on the wrong side of because she will hold a grudge!