Petition Against Punishing Disabled Children with Severe Electrical Shocks

I would love to just stick to books and the wonderful fun of the Supernaturals Universe. But I have to say that this petition is important, and I hope everyone will sign it!

Children, to begin with, are the most vulnerable among us. But then add in a disability, and they become helpless. Like our elderly, our children often become the target of hidden abuse. This abuse, though, isn’t hiding behind closed doors, it’s out in the open and it is STATE SANCTIONED!


I’m writing you today to ask you support the passage of Amendment #548 introduced by Sen. Brian Joyce to the MA FY2013 budget. The Senate has passed this amendment, and it is now in your hands to stop the abuse of disabled people in Massachusetts.

There is a compromise amendment that allows students currently being tortured to continue to be tortured in the JRC. Only Amendment #548 bans the torture.

More than 240,000 people have already signed a petition calling for an end to the practice of so called “aversive-therapy” at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, MA. More than 8,000 of those signatures come from Massachusetts residents – your constituents.

This petition specifically asks for your support of Amendment #548.

The UN’s special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, has called for a formal investigation into the torture on students with disabilities that takes place in the JRC, and has opened discussions with the US mission to the UN in Geneva as a first step towards investigating the school. Please do not further embarrass the United States any further, but quickly vote in Amendment #548.

Thank you.

Debunking JRC’s Top Seven Untruths:

1. Untruth: Shocks and other major aversives are only used rarely (i.e. “once per week”) and only for severe behaviors.
Truth: Based on multiple former JRC staff reports, non-verbal students are often shocked 20 – 30 times per day with the same devices seen used on Andre McCollins on video shown recently on Fox News and CNN. Some students become so injured with burns and scabs all over their bodies that they have to have their devices removed for 4 – 5 weeks to allow their skin to heal up. JRC staff refer to these as “GED vacations”.

2. Untruth: JRC’S shock devices are approved by the FDA and therefore prove to be safe.
Truth: The shock devices used at the JRC have not been FDA approved. Only in late May has the JRC removed that claim from their website after falsely advertising it since 1994. They were exposed on TV by Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN). You can see the bloody scabs in the video on Change.Org.

3. Untruth: The ‘behaviors’ of students at the JRC are so severe that electric shocks save their lives.
Truth: Students are reportedly shocked for minor behaviors, such as standing out of their seat for any reason, tearing any objects including an empty used paper cup, nagging, and swearing, as well as refusing to take off one’s jacket as seen on TV. Children with these sorts of challenges are not unique to the JRC. There are many alternatives that could be and are used around the world, but most JRC staff have not had training or experience to know otherwise.

4. Untruth: JRC’s skin shock treatment is based on scientific studies published in credible peer-review journals.
Truth: A director of research at Yale University recently appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and stated that he and his partner could not find any peer reviewed studies in any credible sources that supported the use of JRC’s methods.

5. Untruth: JRC has always had a team of licensed psychologists responsible for making student behavioral plans including shock treatments.
Truth: At one point, JRC was fined large sums of money after it was discovered that many posing as psychologists were not licensed as claimed.

6. Untruth: Judge know and approve all individual behaviors for which students are shocked.
Truth: Although a Massachusetts judge always approves the use of GED shocks for a student, blanket permission is given which allows the JRC to freely add and delete specific behaviors for which students are shocked without further permission from the judge.

7. Untruth: Parents give an informed consent prior to their children being approved for shocks.
Truth: Cheryl McCollins testified that she had no idea that the JRC tortured and abused students until she saw her son on video tied up and shocked 31 times for refusing to take off his jacket, landing her son in the hospital for five weeks in a catatonic state. Parents may never know that their non-verbal child was shocked for standing up to give staff a hug, to ask to go to the bathroom, or in reaction to a student getting shocked and screaming next to them, among many other examples of abuse and torture for which loving parents would never give their consent.

The JRC’s deceit has existed for long enough. Please support Amendment #548.


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