Senator Golden Calls For Removal Of New York Children From Controversial Center

Martin J. Golden

January 25, 2008

Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) today again called for all students who are New York State residents to be removed from the Judge Rotenberg Education Center, and returned to New York State. The controversial school is known for unorthodox behavioral-modification techniques which include the use of aversive therapy, or shock treatments.

"Aversive Therapy is cruel, and shocking emotionally disturbed children into submission is wrong. New York should send a message to Rotenberg and bring our students home. How many more students have to be tortured before New York State finally brings our kids home," said Senator Golden.

As reported in the January 18th Boston Globe, top officials at the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center destroyed video evidence which was critical to an investigation after being ordered by Massachusetts investigators to preserve the tapes. The tapes recorded an incident in August of 2007 in which staff wrongfully administered dozens of shocks to two emotionally disturbed teenagers. On student received 77 shocks, the other 29.

"The Rotenberg Center is the only school in the nation that uses shock treatments for special education students. I believe that the reason they destroyed the tape is that it was incriminating. I believe the Rotenberg Center didn’t want to show the world what passes for ‘treatment’ behind their walls," continued Senator Golden.

"The officials at the Rotenberg Educational Center have violated our trust. This facility is entrusted to care for children who don’t have the ability to care for themselves, and don’t have the ability to protest their treatment. I hope that the Rotenberg Center has more respect for its students than it has for the law," concluded Senator Golden.