Ten years ago, an 18-year-old disabled boy was tortured with electric shocks 31 times in a Massachusetts residential school for disturbed and autistic children. His crime? He had refused to take his coat off when ordered! Hard to believe? Then watch the video at the end of this article.
The video is hard to watch. Andre McCollins is strapped face down and spread-eagled, screaming for them to stop and then screeching when he’s shocked. It’s horrific. Afterwards, they left him without care, in a catatonic state, unable to eat or even take in adequate fluids. The school is lucky he didn’t die, or they’d be getting sued for murder instead of torture.
Perhaps even worse is to learn that the school, the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts, has managed to keep this from being seen in court before now, ten years later. On the main page of their website is the statement:
The JUDGE ROTENBERG CENTER (JRC) is a special needs school in Canton, Massachusetts serving ages 3-adult. For 39 years JRC has provided very effective education and treatment to both emotionally disturbed students with conduct, behavior, emotional, and/or psychiatric problems and developmentally delayed students with autistic-like behaviors.
This so-called school treats children with problems, even autistic and developmentally disabled children, by torturing them with electric shock, and a lot more than that.
They aren’t even apologetic about what happened, and apparently, it’s still going on. The proof is in a document that’s online at their website. To assure that it remains available to view, it’s presented here:
On pages 5 and 6 is the statement :
Stronger or more restrictive or physical aversives. Examples are … overcorrection (requiring—with physical force if necessary—a student to repeat an action many times); spanks, pinches, or muscle squeezes; vapor spray to the face; brief cool shower; bad tastes; aromatic ammonia broken under the nose; imposing manual restraint such as the “basket hold” for a period of time; mechanical restraints such as handcuffs and/or ankle cuffs; skin-shock; “takedowns” (several staff forcing the student down to the floor and holding him/her there until he/she stops struggling); “mat rolling” (rolling the individual in a mat or small rug for a period of time); and mechanical restraint. PRN injections by needle of psychotropic medications also have an aversive effect in addition to their pharmacological effects.
Putting children in handcuffs! Ankle cuffs! Shocking them! Rolling them in rugs! Punishment by forcing the inhalation of ammonia! Ingesting foul tastes! Cold showers! (In the face of all this, you can’t really believe they mean “cool” showers.) Spanking, pinching, “muscle squeezes”? Injections with psychotropic drugs for punishment?
For some reason, we’re supposed to believe that it’s okay for them to have done this electroshock because they kept a videotape of it. So why did they fight it being shown in court, if what they did wasn’t wrong? Surely they have the courage of their convictions … don’t they?
This “school” is still in operation.
The school’s founder, recently retired Dr. Matthew Israel, is a psychologist whose school claims to avoid the use of psychotropic drugs, for the most part. (It tells us a lot about these drugs that they are used as punishment. One must certainly wonder about their continued use as treatment.) One of the board members describes him as “a heroic figure to the thousands of families who walked through these doors” and says he had “He had the conviction and courage to develop and perfect intensive behavioral therapies”.
Interestingly, the site quotes parents who are happy that their children now behave, but they don’t quote any of the children who are now adults. It isn’t hard to imagine why. Methinks that Israel missed his calling. He should have been involved in the Guantanamo tortures.
Tagged antipsychotics, antipsychotics torture, autism, autistic torture, boy shocked, disabled torture, electroshock boy disabled, judge rotenberg center, judge rotenberg center torture, psychiatry, torture, torture school