This is the last electric shock therapy school in the United States, which has been applying electric shock therapy to students for 30 years since 1988. It has been condemned by the public and the media all the year round, but it still stands.
According to the Guardian on December 18, an international organization advocating human rights in the Americas has called on the U.S. government to issue an immediate ban on electric shock therapy for students at a school for disabled children outside Boston. Once again, the organization is at the forefront of public opinion.
The school, called the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center (JR Center), is the only school in the United States that routinely punishes students with electric shocks. Schools say the pain-causing electric shock therapy is used to correct studentsviolent tendencies and self-mutilation. According to the Guardian, 47 students in the school are currently receiving such treatment and the current to them is stronger than that of ordinary police electric shotguns.
The human rights organization, called the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), is part of the International Organization of the Americas, and the United States is one of the 35 independent members of the organization. In the application, the organization asked the Trump government to issue a ban within 15 days to stop the electric shocks in JR centers. They also wrote to Secretary of State Mike Penpeo and American representative Carlos Trujillo of the International Organization of America to call their attention to electric shocktherapy.
As a member of the International Organization of the Americas, ignoring this appeal for human rights in the United States will lead to international condemnation of the United States. Until now, the organization has not received any response.
In the JR Center, you can see two very different worlds.
Reporters from the Washington Post visited the school in 2016 and saw its promotional Yellow Brick Avenue:
Its like a paradise for children, going into rooms on both sides of the avenue. Theres a room full of the latest games and decorated with bright colors like a carnival. One room has a hairdressing salon and an Internet Cafe decorated with Hawaiian style. Theres also a shop where students can buy bags with the rewards accumulated in their accounts. Jewelry and clothing.
On the JR Center website, the public can see the schools promise that students here can enjoy luxury single apartments, gyms, swimming pools and rich recreational activities.
But journalists also witnessed a disturbing scene: in the classroom, a burly girl suddenly started screaming and biting her hand hard. A worker rushed to control her and slammed her head against a wall with a mirror. It was as if the whole room was trembling, and three or four workers rushed to put a helmet and cushioned vest on the struggling student and tied her to a chair facing the wall.
On YouTube, a woman named Jen claimed to have been transferred from a public hospital to the school in 2002, where she stayed for seven years. More details about the schools electroshock therapy were revealed in her presentation. She said the shock, which the JR Center called aversion therapy, was her most feared part.
Fifteen years have passed, and now I have nightmares every night.
According to Jen, when she first came here, the electric shock equipment was relatively mild, but later the school found that such equipment could not meet the needs, so it developed an electric shock device called graduate delectronic decelerator. The inventor was Matthew Israerael, the founder of the school. He told the Guardian that the invention was influenced by a Utopian novel, Walden Two, in which children were trained to do only positive things because they would be punished if they did bad things.
Israel, a former behaviorist B.F. Skinner, founded the first institute called the Behavior Institute in Rhode Island in 1971, when punishments included spanking, pinching and spraying water on students. In 1996, Israel relocated the facility to Massachusetts and renamed it the Rodenburg Judge Center. It was the judge who was able to continue their aversion therapy at the Judgment Center in 1980. In 1988, the JR Center began to use electric shocks on trainees.
The GED device, which is extremely scary for students, includes an eight-pound backpack that must be worn 24 hours, and electrodes stretched out of the bag are tied to students with leather rings.
Each electrode is about six inches long. Normally, electrodes lead to thighs, legs, arms or wrap around the stomach. Sometimes they will lead wires to your fingers, soles of your feet or thighs, if they think you need to be punished more severely. Jen said in the video.
In 2012, a JR Centers internal surveillance video was released, causing widespread controversy in American public opinion. Both CNN and FOX have reported this in detail. In the video, Andre McCollins, an 18-year-old student, was electrocuted 31 times in a medical cart within hours.
In the video, the audience can hear him screaming:
No, no, no, help, help.
Pain! It hurts!
Jen also mentioned in her videos that she had tried to escape from the JR Center and had been punished after being captured and imprisoned for two months.
Very painful, as if the muscles were severely pulled, then tensed to the extreme for two seconds, completely out of control, sometimes like being bitten by hundreds of bees together.
Not only physical pain, but also the psychological panic caused by this treatment to students.
Once you put it on, you dont know when youll get an electric shock, so youll always be nervous. Sometimes when I dont do anything wrong, the current suddenly comes.
Current is remotely controlled by staff, and the reasons for punishment can be large or small. More serious cases such as violence against others, self-mutilation, lighter ones such as standing on a chair, talking loudly, and putting your hands in front of you can also be shocked.
In an interview with CNN in 2012, Greg Miller, a former staff member at JR Center, said: When a student gets up from a chair and raises his hand and says,I want to go to the toilet, as a staff member, we also shock him because the studentspeaks without permission. This behavior is also consideredaggressivein the JR Center.
Whether or not the students were shocked was entirely judged by the staff themselves, which led to a serious scandal in JR Center in 2007: school staff carried out about 100 shocks on two boys. They allegedly did so because they received a call from a self-proclaimed executive who said the two students had acted improperly. The phone was later found to be a prank.
In the wake of the scandal, school founder Israel was charged with destroying evidence. He was forced to resign as principal to avoid jail and was sentenced to five yearsprobation.
Even so, the running and main business of JR Center continues. In response to the Guardian, the JR Center pointed out that in June this year, the judges of the local court had declared the activities of the Centre legal and approved them to continue their operations.
Our equipment does not pose a serious risk to students. Our clients have no restraints, no psychotropic drugs, no harm, they can continue their studies in school and keep in touch with their families.
In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considered banning the JR Centers electric shock therapy, but so far it has not put this proposal into action. The Guardian reported that the U.S. government has sufficient power to enforce the ban if it wishes. The Food and Drug Administration of the United States has the right to regulate all medicines and therapeutic instruments, and has the right to declare GED electric shock devices illegal.
One of the major obstacles to the FDAs ban comes from parents of students who see the shock from JR centers as a life-saving straw for their children. If banned, they have to find other ways. They chose to shock their children because they had no way out.
Four years ago, Sarah Everett from Charlottesville brought her son here. The JR Center saved my life and marriage, said Sarah, 52. At that time, when I asked my son,Why dont you put on your sweater?He bit me.When my son ripped off a lot of my hair, I was about to collapse.
Now hes happy, he doesnt need electric shocks or psychotropic drugs, Everett said. Nevertheless, she hoped that her son would continue to receive electric shocks: I am his mother. Nobody knows him better than I do. I think JR Center has done a lot for my son. They have improved my sons relationship with his parents!
Michael Shields, 51, was brought here by his 83-year-old father and 85-year-old mother. Before we came here, we tried seven treatments and all failed. My children used to wear restraints and masks, and theyve been much better since they came here. The Hills are accompanying their son on a monthly visit.
Michael, how do you feel here? The Washington Post reporter asked him.
Very good, I like it here. Mike, who gulps on potato chips and root soda, makes a vague sound. Its hard to tell whether he really thinks that way or just repeats his parentswords. A serious-looking worker stood behind him, pumping 45.5 milliamperes of electricity into a strap wound around his wrist and leg.
Susan Mizner, Disability Adviser for the American Civil Liberties League, said: Its true that parents would not be allowed to treat their children like this if they werent desperate, but we should rethink why society failed to give them better choices.
In American history, this electroshock-based aversion therapy was once a routine treatment. Once used to treat homosexuals --- doctors show nude photos of homosexuals and shock them with pain to treat their homosexual interests.
Today, many people in the United States still feel that a slight electric shock can help people get rid of bad habits. Amazon is still publicly selling a $199 electric shock device: Download App right now and choose the bad habits you want to quit, the product description says, If you feel you cant get up, there are more than fifty unread e-mails in your mailbox, andhiccupyourself with a soothing current.
Richard Malott, a board member of the JR Center, is a psychologist at the University of West Michigan. He even claimed that he would give himself electric shocks to eliminate bad feelings: Whenever I find myself becoming mean and small-bellied, I give myself a little stimulation ofOuch, pain. Now Im sweet and lovely, he told the Washington Post in a solemn voice.
Brian Iwata, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Florida, points out that this self-mutilation suppression system should now be eliminated. The expert was the inventor of earlier versions of GED: We have invented better ways to solve problems. He said: I have cured hundreds of self-mutilated patients, including some of the most difficult cases that people can see. They can all be cured by more modest penalties, including overtime restrictions, restraints and even incentives.
Source: Responsible Editor of Observer Network: Qian Mingxiao_NBJ10675