CALCIUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Indian River Central School District is responding to an incident involving a special education classroom.

On October 18, a parent posted audio recordings on social media that were obtained in a BOCES special education classroom at Calcium Primary School, according to a press release from Jefferson-Lewis BOCES Superintendent Stephen Todd.

In the recordings, members of the classroom staff were heard “verbally abusing” students, Todd said in the press release.

The recordings captured staff members saying the following to students: “These kids are disgusting” and “think we can shove him in one of those harnesses like a dog?”

According to Todd, as soon as BOCES administration was made aware of the recordings, students were moved to different classrooms and teachers working in the room were placed on administrative leave.

“Please know our schools have a zero tolerance for anyone who abuses students or treats them inappropriately,” Todd said in the release. “I realize some of you may have heard these disturbing recordings and I want to acknowledge how upsetting the content is. I unequivocally denounce this behavior.”

Indian River Superintendent Troy Decker also released the following statement regarding the incident:

We expect behavior that is nurturing and caring toward our students—always. There is no tolerance for hurtful comments or actions. Learning and growth occur in an environment at IRCSD that is safe, healthy, kind, and supportive. If any connected students or families require personal assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to your school counseling office. 

Troy Decker, Superintendent, IRCSD

Additional information regarding the identity of these teachers was not released as this is an ongoing investigation.

Read the full letter from Jefferson-Lewis BOCES below: