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    Petition To The MA State Senate On The Judge Rotenberg Center.
    By Kim Wombles | April 28th 2012 07:46 PM | 4 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Kim

    Instructor of English and psychology and mother to three on the autism spectrum.

    Writer of the site countering.us (where most of these

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    Gregory Miller, a former JRC employee, has set up a petition on Change.org, and given permission to repost his petition letter:
    Hi, my name is Gregory Miller. I used to work at a school in Massachusetts named The Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) where we used powerfully painful electric shock devices (45 – 91 milliamps, at 66 volts) on students to control their behaviors. These devices are much stronger than police stun guns (1-4 milliamps). Unlike stun guns, the electrodes most commonly used at school are spaced 3 – 4 inches apart so that the electrical volts passing through the flesh create the maximum amount of pain with those amps and volts. The United Nations is aware of JRC, has called these shocks at JRC “torture”, and says that “The prohibition of torture is absolute.” Please see the attached video of a student named Andre getting shocked at JRC, covered by Fox News.
    Rather than shocking students for only severe behaviors, JRC also shocks students for minor behaviors, such as closing eyes for 15 seconds while sitting at the desk, pulling apart a loose piece of thread, tearing an empty used paper cup, going to the bathroom in one’s clothes after signing that they need to use the bathroom for over two hours, standing up and raising a hand to ask to go to the bathroom, blowing small bubbles in saliva between one’s lips, and shocking a non-verbal nearly blind girl with cerebral palsy for making a moaning sound and for attempts to hold a staff’s hand (her attempts to communicate and to be loved).
    I would greatly appreciate your help to protect my former students by petitioning Massachusetts legislators to make these shock procedures illegal. These students are among Massachusetts’ most vulnerable citizens and have no voice of their own to describe their pain. They need YOUR voice!
    I urge you to please CLICK on the Petition Letter tab to carefully read the petition that I have written based on what I have personally witnessed at JRC, and sign the petition.  Then please invite as many friends as you can through www.Change.Org, email, Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere, to sign this petition.  Please value these student lives enough to let Massachusetts know that Americans do not condone shock procedures in this country. Thank you.
    Sincerely, 
    Gregory Miller


    Petition Letter:
    Please Stop Painful Electric Shocks on Students at JRC in Massachusetts!
    To Massachusetts State Legislatures: Please Stop Painful Electric Shocks on Students at JRC in Mass
    I just signed the following petition addressed to: Massachusetts State Legislatures.
    ----------------
    - Whereas, the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JRC) of Canton, Massachusetts is the only place in the world that specializes in delivering extreme pain as a behavioral treatment for autistic individuals and delinquent youths;
    - Whereas, for the first time ever, YOU, including families of students at JRC, Massachusetts judges, legislators, and American citizens and voters, are allowed to see through video what electric shocks and torture look like on a student inside of JRC in Massachusetts, as recently reported on Fox News:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/12/judge-rotenberg-center-trial_n_...
    - Whereas, the United Nations has declared the treatment at JRC to be deemed as torture that the US government should end: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/shock-therapy-massachussetts-school/stor...
    - Whereas, JRC uses shock devices (45 – 91 milliamps, at 66 volts) that are much stronger than police stun guns (1-4 milliamps) (see p.14):
    http://www.mdri.org/PDFs/USReportandUrgentAppeal.pdf
    http://www.bostonmagazine.com/articles/the_shocking_truth/
    - Whereas, some students have had to have periods of approximately 4 - 5 weeks off the shock devices in order to allow the bloody scabs to heal on their arms, legs, and torso;
    - Whereas, JRC receives court consent to administer electric shock to control very severe behaviors, Massachusetts legislators do not directly observe the students with autism actually receiving high numbers of shocks for minor behaviors that are never included in JRC’s marketing materials, such as closing eyes for 15 seconds while sitting at the desk, pulling apart a loose piece of thread, tearing an empty used paper cup, going to the bathroom in one’s clothes after signing that they need to use the bathroom for over two hours, standing up and raising a hand to ask to go to the bathroom, blowing small bubbles in saliva between one’s lips, and shocking a non-verbal nearly blind girl with cerebral palsy for making a moaning sound and for attempts to hold a staff’s hand (her attempts to communicate and to be loved);
    - Whereas, students who just observe their peers being shocked react in fear by standing up out of their seat, yelling or crying in reaction, attempting to pull their own electrodes off their skin, and/or pushing the arm of the staff away from the remote control… and are then shocked for these reactions;

    - Whereas, non-verbal students with autism who receive the most electric shocks at JRC are not able to speak for themselves to describe the psychological harm they experience for simply being in the classroom while watching their classmates get shocked;
    - Whereas, many parents may not have given “informed consent" because they signed papers without being permitted to actually see for themselves what “treatment” by electric shocks at JRC actually looks like, as now viewable on Fox News (see link above);
    - Whereas, the electric shocks have not been demonstrated in studies to show that they reduce behaviors of students once they graduate from JRC and are away from the threat of fear and pain;
    - Whereas, the academic and working conditions at JRC have been terrible, including approximately 40 students in a single room forced into labor to complete meaningless tasks such as counting 12 popsicle sticks and wrapping them with a rubber band in a large room without windows, all day long, 7 days a week, which arguably may lead to many student behaviors for which students are shocked;
    - Whereas, there is now a wealth of accumulated data and resources on JRC from over the years for concerned legislators and American citizens to read that describes the abuses taking place within JRC, including:
    http://thetruthaboutjrc.wordpress.com/
    - - Former JRC staff and author of this petition describes what JRC looks like from the inside:
    http://canton.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-a-former-judge-rot...
    http://canton.patch.com/articles/letter-to-the-editor-former-teacher-s-a... - comment_3113986
    Therefore, we the undersigned strongly urge the Massachusetts state legislature to ban the use of aversive procedures.
    If you click on this story, please care enough to click on the petition link and sign it. Make a difference today.

    Comments

    Pity - the form only allows people with a US address to sign

    kwombles
    http://www.change.org/petitions/judge-rotenberg-educational-center-please-stop-painful-electric-shocks-on-your-students  New petition by Greg Miller allowing international signers.
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” --MLK, Jr.
    My son who is at JRC since 2009 is not on the GED program. He is on the severe side of the autism spectrum- he is mentally challenged, non verbal and has very challenging behaviors He has improved tremendously because of the positive reinforcement program designed for him. Right now, he does school work well and has improved academically which we, his parents, thought would never happen at all. He is very sociable and we know he is comfortable at JRC because of the tremendous support from his treatment team and especially the direct care staff. Before JRC, he had a very hard time relating to people around him; he communicated by doing problem behaviors. Today he is a changed person and we are happy because we know he is. BTW, in my son's classroom there are just 4 of them with 4 staff. It has a massage chair, rewards cabinet and some mats where they can lay down. Each student has his own computer. My son had been in other classrooms in the previous years and I know that it has always been the physical arrangement of the classrooms. JRC knows me as very much involved with my son’s affairs and I am very particular with even the smallest of concerns. Therefore as parents, we will not tolerate anything that could hurt our son. We trust JRC and we are aware that our son is well taken cared of.