October 2

Disability Rights International’s “Torture, not Treatment” Op-Ed Published in The Washington Post

October 2, 2010, Washington, DC–

An op-ed authored by Disability Rights International president Laurie Ahern concerning the egregious abuses taking place against children with disabilities at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts, was published today in The Washington Post.
The Washington Post
Disabled children at Mass. school are tortured, not treated
By Laurie Ahern
Saturday, October 2, 2010

“We don’t torture,” President Obama said just days after taking office. Perhaps he is not aware of what is happening in his backyard — to children with disabilities in Massachusetts.

During investigations into treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, detainees reported being short-shackled, verbally abused, isolated, hooded and threatened in ways designed to induce fear of injury, pain and death — including threats that they might be tortured with electric shocks.

State reviews of the techniques used at the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) in Canton, Mass., and the center’s Web site have cited skin shocks, shock chairs, shock “holsters,” shackles and social isolation — some of which are applied to school-age children.

This publicity is a great first step in making the Obama administration, the public, and the media pay real attention to the abuses being leveled against our most vulnerarable children–But it is only a first step. If you are outraged that a rogue facility in the US can use taxpayer money to literally shock and restrain children, then please, join the conversation. Write a Letter-to-the-Editor of The Washington Post, and let’s keep this momentum going! With your help, we can put an end to these abuses against children and adults with disabilities.

Click here to read Disability Rights International’s full report on abuses taking place at the Judge Rotenberg Center.