And This Is The Liberal State…

4 comments December 22nd, 2007at 10:50pm Posted by Eli


State authorities have given a controversial special education school in Canton a one-year extension of its authority to use electric shock treatments on students, provided the center makes a series of significant changes.

Among them, the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center must prove that it uses shock treatments only for the most dangerous and self-destructive behaviors and that the aversive therapy actually led to a reduction of those harmful actions.

The center must also stop electric shocks for “seemingly minor infractions,” such as getting out of a seat without approval or swearing. And it must show greater commitment to phasing out shock treatments, especially for those about to leave the school to enter mainstream society.


Jean McGuire, assistant secretary of the state’s Office of Health and Human Services, said the state has issued this conditional reauthorization well aware of the events last August in which two teenagers wrongfully received dozens of electrical shocks at the direction of a caller posing as a supervisor. The caller told staff to wake up the teenagers and give them dozens of shocks each based on alleged behavior that had occurred at least five hours earlier.

McGuire said the center has promised to eliminate delayed punishments and end the delivery of shocks to students who are sleeping. While the school’s critics want the state to ban any form of shock treatment, McGuire said the state also had to consider the many parents who defend the school as the only effective place for their hard-to-teach youngsters.


Critics of the Rotenberg Center expressed disappointment that state officials, especially in light of the August episode, did not order the school to end the shock treatment program, which critics consider ineffective and inhumane.


The provisional reauthorization was given by the Department of Mental Retardation, which is responsible for overseeing the shock therapy program. The Rotenberg Center is the only school in the nation that depends so heavily on shock treatments for its students, most of whom are autistic, mentally retarded, or have serious emotional problems.

According to the report, the school has about 250 students, nearly all of whom attend the center’s Canton school and live in one of its 38 group homes in nearby communities. Two-thirds are minors; the rest are adults. Roughly one-third are from Massachusetts. About 60 percent of all students have court-approved plans that allow for shock treatment.

In the reauthorization, state officials criticized the center for producing generic-looking treatment and assessment plans for the students, seemingly using a common template for many of them.


McGuire said the state plans to inspect the school next month, as well as repeatedly throughout the year to make sure the required changes are being addressed.

“We’re being as aggressive as we can,” McGuire said.

This is just nuts. How is anything but “We are shutting you sadistic bastards down RIGHT NOW” not the only possible response to this? These people are completely out of control, they’re torturing these kids instead of helping them, and the government response is to give them a year to cut back on electroshock treatment??? As the shadowy and mysterious Codename V. said: 1840 called – they want their treatment back.

I think “Don’t tase me, bro” is going to become our new national motto.

(h/t dakine)

Entry Filed under: Torture,Wankers


  • 1. SPIIDERWEB™  |  December 23rd, 2007 at 12:02 am

    Well we are at this tea party and Alice isn’t the only one being served, right?

  • 2. J  |  December 23rd, 2007 at 7:03 am

    If you are not from MA, torture is a federal crime.

    Contact your congressman and senator and demand a criminal investigation by the justice department.

    If you are from MA, call your state legislators as well

  • 3. Rob  |  December 23rd, 2007 at 12:45 pm

    Electroshock therapy is not the problem; properly administered, it can be literally life-saving. Properly administered, they are not painful and usually not remembered. There are problems with it — memory loss and confusion are often bad side effects. But for a class of people otherwise refractory to any and all other medications — and some of them are teens — electroshock therapy may be the difference between life and death or at least life and a living hell.

    Several friends are alive because of properly administered electroshock therapy. At least one friend is not because someone decided electroshock therapy was “barbaric” and could not be administered to patients. So instead, she put a gun to her head and blew her brains out all over her bedroom.

    Hello, 2007 wants it’s proper therapy administered properly!

  • 4. Matthew L. Israel  |  January 8th, 2008 at 11:17 am

    For an accurate summary of what the Judge Rotenberg Center is really about, please go to

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