DAA News Network

USA: ‘Shock school’ director forced out

Posted 27/5-11 at 15.47

Matthew Israel (78), founder and director of the Judge Rotenberg Center, where disabled youngsters are punished with electric shocks, has been forced to quit the centre and to serve five years' probation.

These moves were the result of a plea bargain he made after being charged with misleading a grand jury and destroying evidence in relation to an incident in2007 in which two disabled children were subjected to dozens of electrical shocks for no reason. One of the children was given 77 shocks over three hours.

The terms of the deal struck between Israel and the prosecutors require the school to introduce additional monitoring to prevent a similar lapse of security happening again. But the shocks themselves can continue.

Laurie Ahern, of Disability Rights International, which has been a persistent critic of the school, said that without an end to the shocks Israel's departure would be irrelevant. "I don't see any radical change at the moment."

Despite the negative publicity directed at him, Israel managed to keep operating for 40 years partly because he had the vociferous support of parents of children with autism at the school.




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