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A video that a school in Massachusetts has fought in court for years to keep under wraps was played in public for the first time this week, revealing the torture of a disabled boy through the use of repeated electric shocks.
The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Caton, Massachusetts has for years been pushing back against allegations of flippant use of electric shocks and other abuses against its special-needs students, and it had managed to keep video central to a case brought by one former student’s mother under wraps.
Now, the public knows why.
Footage played in court this week and captured by a local Fox News affiliate shows former student Andre McCollins, then a disabled 18-year-old, strapped to a table and screaming savagely in pain as faculty applied 31 individual jolts of electricity over the course of seven hours. He was ultimately hospitalized.
JRC lawyers insist the shocks were applied as part of a treatment routine meant to pacify mentally and emotionally troubled students, and that McCollins was just one of many who have undergone the so-called therapy. They also claimed he was “aggressive,” and therefore needed the treatment.
Security camera footage revealed, however, that the boy’s prolonged torture was brought on when he refused to remove his jacket in class.
While these definitions seem vague by nature, a brief search on facilities currently operating the United States notes the following within their literature – all quite similar to the definitions described above:
Island View - a high-impact residential treatment facility operated by Aspen Education Group with ties to Republican candidate Mitt Romney‘s former company, Bain Capital – offers the following advice to parents as to how not to sabotage their child’s treatment opportunities.
What do you mean by “shutting the door?”
Imagine that your child is standing in a corridor with both sides lined with doors. There is a door at the other end of the corridor. That’s the door you want your child to go through. It is the door that leads to success, well-being and personal happiness – in your opinion. Unfortunately, your child thinks that walking through that door is stupid, impractical, lame, not cool and utterly ridiculous. Perhaps at some conscious or unconscious level, he may have a desire to walk through the door but fear of the unknown, effort to get to the door, or any other underlying issues may make it impossible for him to walk through this door without some sort of a assistance.
The problem is that he is being distracted by all the other doors that are lining the corridor. To you, the signs on the doors read: Party, Drugs, Negative Friends, Hanging Out, School Failure, Depression, Psycho-Neurological Problem, Learning Difference, Manipulation, Excuses, You Don’t Understand, Loss of a Close Friend, Divorce, Low Self-Esteem, etc.
Your child, distracted or mitigated by these doors will opt to slip through one or more of these doors. If we let him do so, will he ever get through the door at the end of the hall? Maybe, but when? This year, next year, when he is 20? The reason you place the child in a treatment facility is that you thought that the time is NOW to make the change.
The best way to make it happen NOW, is to shut all other doors so that the only door that can be opened is the one you want him to walk through – the one at the end of the hall.