Three teenage residents in a Canton Group home had to be taken to the hospital on Friday after they were injured during a group brawl. About six staff members were also involved in the altercation. The home is run by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, which is known for using electrical skin shock to discipline students. Police and center officials say these shocks were not used on Friday.
Injuries from the brawl included a broken hip, wrist, and nose. The brawl may have broken out when one of the students ignored a staff member’s instructions that it was time to go to bed. Some of the staffers who were involved in the fight had put on helmets.
Most of the 200 students at the center have autism, behavioral disorders, or intellectual disabilities. About half of them wear electrodes on their skin, which allows staffers to trigger 2-second shocks using a handheld device. The electric shock procedure is sanctioned by the state of Massachusetts.
Earlier this year, the US Justice Department launched an investigation to examine of some of the residential school’s methods. According to a letter signed by over two dozen advocacy groups last year, residents at the center who have state-approved plans giving permission for electric shock as a behavior-control method are given these painful shocks if they interrupt others, stop working for over 10 seconds, whisper, or get out of their seats.
Schools and other facilities responsible for minors under their care can be held liable for Boston personal injury if negligence, carelessness, or recklessness contributes to causing a student, resident, or participant to sustain injuries or die. Physical abuse, neglect, failure to properly supervise, failure to protect, violent disciplinary methods, verbal threats, and failure to remove or repair hazards from the premise are some reasons why a student and his/her family might decide to file a Massachusetts injuries to a minor claim.
3 injured in brawl at group home, Boston.com, June 29, 2010
Feds Launch Probe Of School That Uses Electric Shock, Disability Scoop, February 25, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Judge Rotenberg Educational Center