New York Board Says JRC Cannot Use Aversives On Students, For
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
September 22, 2006
ALBANY, NEW YORK--The New York State Board of Regents, which oversees public education for students in the state, ruled last week to continue its policy -- at least on a temporary basis -- banning the use of aversive treatments of students in New York schools and schools outside the state that accept New York students.
The Board started the ban in June in response to news reports that staff at the Judge Rotenberg Education Center in Canton, Massachusetts were subjecting dozens of New York students sent there to punishments such as electric skin shocks, sleep deprivation, food deprivation, and noxious sprays for such behaviors as "nagging", "failure to maintain a neat appearance", "interrupting others", and "slouching in chair".
New York contracts with the Rotenberg Center to house and educate about 150 youths, most of which have developmental or other disabilities.
The Board decided to extend the ban until its October meeting, while it reviews comments made by hundreds of people at public meetings over the summer.
Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered JRC to continue using skin shocks as punishment for 46 New York students whose parents sued to overturn the state's emergency ban. The parents claimed that the jolts, which are described as being similar to bee stings, are the only techniques that have helped their children keep from hurting themselves or others.
Massachusetts regulators, including the Disabled Persons Protection Commission, have been investigating several allegations of abuse at the institution.