June 12th, 2012
10:27 PM ET

JRC lawyer: Electric shocks for students 'humane'

A report from a human rights organization goes into graphic detail with horrifying claims about what’s happening at a school for students with severe behavioral and developmental issues. They call it torture. Anderson spoke with Michael Flammia, an attorney for the Judge Rotenberg Center and Dr. Louis Kraus, a board member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Filed under: 360º Follow • Autism
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Vincent Androsiglio PhD


    Idon't jump to the cruelty expalnation right away. I have used electricity during acupurture and it is very relaxing to an excited nervous system. Some doctors are using electricity to disslove pain in muscles. It works under the proper conditions.

    June 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Shain Neumeier

      Problem is, this is both being done without consent (unless one considers the legal fiction of "substituted judgment" used to get approval for this treatment to be real consent) and it, as shown on the video tape, clearly causes the person on the receiving end of this pain. If people able to give their own informed consent to this and to withdraw that consent whenever they chose signed up for this, that would be one thing. As they're used here, though, the shocks really are being used in a cruel way.

      June 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
  2. Nina elsow

    Re : JRC lawyer: Electric shocks for students " humane "

    Thank you for not giving up on the children of the Rotenberg Center.
    Religious entities have been ridiculed, blamed and sued for performing exorcism, but nobody seems to find anything wrong about the Rotenberg Center. The silence of the Massachusetts Governor, its Attorney General and the Federal authorities is very disturbing.


    June 13, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  3. Dr. Aguinaga

    I want to thank you for focusing on other, more important things that are going on in the world. I am tired of the cable news media spending all their time on the horse race (presidential election). Please keep up the good work you are doing and the great interviewing that you do (keeping them honest). Thank you, Thank you. Thank you.

    June 13, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  4. CYL

    this is a very very sad story aired on Tuesday but I am glad you, Anderson, brought it to light. This place is horrifying for these kids who must be terrified out of their wits. It is the parents and care takers who should go on trial for horrific child abuse. This is not even close to the punishment a hard criminal should receive much less an unsuspecting child. Please tell me this is not happening today !!

    June 13, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  5. Nanci Wadsworth

    Anderson, I can't believe that in 2012 a school would use electric shock treatment as behavior therapy! The staff who would do this are acting as uneducated jail guards- not teachers, certainly! I am a teacher, and used to work in a large institution for the "retarded" (as it was called in the 70's.) We had emotionally disturbed young people there as well, and I had to protect myself against attack a few times in 4 years. These residents lived in cottages of 500 in a very difficult situation. Their care-givers in the cottage NEVER used shock therapy even under these stressful conditions. That attorney for the school can use all his "lawyer-speak" he can muster, but abuse is abuse! I have had children throw desks or in other ways put their classmates in danger. My strategy was to hold the student's arm until he regained some composure, call the office to have him taken out until he was ready to return to the classroom. Bottom line- How can any facility call itself a "school" that would use such tortuous means?!!

    June 13, 2012 at 5:13 am |
  6. Dave

    What this school is doing is absolutely horrendous and unethical. This school needs to be shut down and there should be people held accountable for basically committing torture on these students. This is in no way, shape or form "humane".

    June 13, 2012 at 1:49 am |
  7. Jeff

    AC – ask the attorney for JRC back and ask him how much money the state pays them for each "student" – states from all over send their most difficult cases to JRC in MA for $$$$

    June 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
  8. Anna

    I meant I didnt see the kid acting out to be shocked over 30 times.. I cant even believe this SCHOOL IS OPENED?? WHat is the state of Massachussets doing?

    June 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
  9. Anna

    I dont understand WHY this school is opened? how can people send kids to this school.. Shocked 30 times over 7 hours,., I didnt see this in the video.. Why wasn't his parents called immediately if he was acting out??? This school needs to be shut down.. WHY IS IT STILL OPENED?????????????????????IM BAFFLED???

    June 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm |