Court Rules School Can Use Electric Shock as Punishment For Special Needs Students

in news •  5 months ago

 Bristol County, MA – Family Court Judge Katherine Field denied a  motion to stop the use of electric shock on disabled students, a form of  punishment that has been controversial for years after news of the  practice first reached the public in 2013 when video surfaced of an  18-year-old student receiving dozens of shocks for refusing to take off  his jacket. 

“(The state) failed to demonstrate that there is now a  professional consensus that the Level III aversive treatment used at JRC  does not conform to the accepted standard of care for treating  individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Judge Field wrote in her decision. 

The facility in question is the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center  (JRC), a special needs day and residential school in Canton, and it is  the only school in the country that still uses electric shocks on its students

Records show that at least 58 students at the school have received shocks as of August 2017. Despite the obvious ethical concerns with this practice, there is a  cult-like support among the staff and even some parents for what they  call “aversive treatment.” A statement from the JRC Parents Group reads: 

“As parents whose children attend and received  treatment at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) we welcome the  court’s ruling and repudiation of Massachusetts government officials at  the Department of Developmental Service (DDS), who acted in bad faith  and impermissibly made treatment decisions for JRC Clients—our children,  just as officials within the agency had done in the 1980s and 1990s.”

However, the students being subjected to this abuse obviously  disagree, and there are several former staff members who are now  speaking out against the use of electric shock. Whistleblower Greg Miller, who taught at the facility from 2003-2006, told that he truly believed that this barbaric therapy was saving lives. 

“I believed in that place at first because I was told that it was  the only place in the world that could really save these kids lives and  most of them would be dead if they weren’t hooked up to the electric  shock,” Miller said. 

Miller said that electric shock was used on students for the smallest infractions,  even something as small as standing up or speaking without permission.  Eventually, he began to observe that the students were horrified of the  shocks and they were rarely aggressive enough to require such a painful  punishment.

 “I was seeing more and more ways I could do something other than shock the students,” Miller said. Miller ultimately quit, unable to cope with the ethical dilemma that came along with the job. The use of shock therapy has been proven to be ineffective, and it is  not used very often because other treatments work much better. 

People don’t use it anymore because they don’t need to.  It is not the standard of care. There are alternative procedures that do  not involve aversives like electronic shock. And I am not talking about  drugs as an alternative. I am talking about other behavioral  treatments,” Dr. William Pelham, a behavioral specialist,  and director of the Center for Children and Families at the State  University of New York at Buffalo, told the New York Times. 

The things that have taken place at JRC have prompted calls for the  FDA to ban the use of electric shock as a punishment for students, but  the FDA has ignored the issue and even had protesters arrested for attempting to raise awareness about the issue outside of their headquarters. 

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This is so stupid. Hypothetically speaking, if a man or a woman were to Tase one of the staff members he/she would be arrested for assault.

If an individual were to give their child electroshocks as a means of punishment the parents would lose custody of their child to CPS.

Yet, if a child is mentally retarded and under the "care" of this facility it is perfectly okay for the staff members to apply electronic shocks to these children as a means of "aversion treatment?"

Boy Tied Down and Shocked (TORTURED!) for Hours at Rotenberg

"Acute Stress Response" is a medical euphemism to describe PTSD.

One of these days they're going to fuck up and piss off the wrong PTSD having parent, whom for whatever reason lost custody of their child, and find themselves in a situation where they're on the receiving end of "enhanced interrogation" in exchange for confessions about the crimes they've committed.

Or maybe the people doling out this abuse will one day find themselves as wards of an old folks home and unable to speak because of a stroke and be blessed enough to have a nurse who was abused as a child to "care" for them.

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right? I'm sure in this lifetime Karma will one day find a creative way to treat these people in kind. Always stay out of the red with your karma balances people!

I've no doubt that there's a special place in hell reserved for these Rotenberg fuckwits. When time isn't healing all wounds it's wounding all heels!

WTF??? and in MASS????

I ain't even gonna front...I haven't read this entire post yet but I am horrified enough already to upvote & resteem to spread awareness. This is some seriously unacceptable f*%!ery.

Thank you for the heads up @johnvibes.

Is sucks that you are doing such a poor hit piece on this fine school. Its a school for students who are violent and unable to be communicated with in normal ways due to severe autism. Instead of drugging them or physically restraining them, because those are the alternatives, alternatives that don't work as well, they use corrective electric shocks, this is nothing like shock therapy, something that is still used and also highly effective in cases that do not respond to other treatments, this is more like training your dog with a shock collar. And like training your dog with a shock collar it works great and does not harm them.

Eventually, he began to observe that the students were horrified of the shocks and they were rarely aggressive enough to require such a painful punishment.

That's a funny way to say that in 100% of students the violent behaviors are stopped and that after a short period of time they no longer require any corrections at all.


I think I could correct your unacceptable behaviour with shock treatment.
Care to volunteer?


For starters it is not "shock treatment", that is a very different treatment for very different conditions.
I don't have any unacceptable behavior. If I was a big violent retard or had a child that was one though I would prefer some simple and harmless conditioning to being constantly sedated or having to constantly be physically restrained by multiple staff members for the rest of my life. If you choose the latter then it would be a lifetime of drugs and restraints instead of a brief period of conditioning. So why would you choose the drugs and physical restraints over highly effective and safe conditioning?

howdy @johnvibes this sounds shocking but who do we believe?
That Miller lady says the method has been proven to be ineffective
but the judge must think it works and I assume has a lot of data to
back up her decision?


No. The judge ruled that the state hadn't proved it's case, not that their case had been disproved.


oh ok I get it, thank you sir for the correction!

Yet another reason to homeschool!

well in a little more scary to me and for the kid

Savages. What about the parents of those kids, they were powerless to do anything about it? Maybe the silence of the lambs got 'em. Shocking stuff :/ No pun.

Holy hell man this isnt good