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Families of special needs children demand cameras in classrooms to prevent teacher abuse

STATEN ISLAND — Several dozen families of special needs children voiced outrage over alleged teacher abuse at a school and demanded cameras in the classroom at a Monday rally.

Jenn and Adam Torres say their 4-year-old son Christopher — a non-verbal autistic child — was cursed at and berated by his teacher at Volunteers of America Early Learning Center in the Tottenville section of Staten Island.

" I need to be his voice," Jenn Torres said. "My son was abused. It cant happen to another child again."

She shared a video of her son telling her he didn't want to go to school.

Neighbors stood in unity, displaying signs demanding cameras in the classroom. Christopher's big brother was also there.

"I am his big brother, I am his voice," 5-year-old Ryan Torres said.

The abuse came to light after one parent tucked a recording device into her child's bookbag after noticing a drastic change in behavior.

"The only way to protect is with cameras in the classroom," Adam Torres said.

The school declined to instal cameras in classrooms, parents at the protest said. But the school did fire two teachers and four aides. No one from the school attended the rally.