Too close to shock

New York education regulators debated yesterday about tightening limits on corporal punishment of students. These rules would have significant impact on the Judge Rotenberg Education Center in Canton, Massachusetts, which uses mild electric shocks to discipline students with autism, mental retardation, or emotional problems. As Scott Allen reported in today’s Boston Globe:

The deputy education commissioner, Rebecca Cort, and other state officials urged the New York Board of Regents to ban corporal punishments, including shocks, and withholding of food, unless a panel of psychologists determines that a child would benefit.

But board members seemed torn between that call to protect children’s rights and assertions by parents of children placed at the Judge Rotenberg Education Center in Canton, Mass., that for some of the students, the threat and infliction of pain may be the best teacher.

New Jersey’s Division of Developmental Disabilities decided back in March not to send any more students to the Massachusetts school (Really, really shocking).

Susan posted about the Rotenburg Education Center yesterday at Torturing Autistics for Fund and Profit and Amanda has also posted about the torture of disabled children and adults at Extreme measures, and then some.

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    • Jackie

      Now that the NYS report is out and I assume JRC will be put out of business, my immediate fear is that NYS prohibits the use of GED devises without removing the students. According to the report, there are no psychiatric drugs. No trained staff. No education. No socialization. Nothing but punishment.

      Aversives make people angry and many of these students were dangerous when they arrived. The staff has been told that they are never to call police, and police have been told not to go on the campus.

      This is a formula for catastrophe.

    • Kristina Chew, PhD

      It sounds like a catastrophe already brewing. My son has been on the receiving end of something like restraints (basket hold) and I shiver to imagine what it is like for those students still at JRC.

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