Workers at a Texas institution for people with disabilities are under investigation for allegedly running “fight club” style brawls among residents, police say.

Cell phone videos obtained by police show residents at the Corpus Christi State School in Corpus Christi, Texas punching, wrestling and kicking each other while caretakers looked on. The incidents involve male residents and 11 employees. Police say there are videos dating back to 2007 and one filmed as recently as last month.

“Workers were staging fight clubs with the residents for their own entertainment. It’s child abuse — some of the worst I’ve seen in over 30 years,” Corpus Christi Police Capt. Tim Wilson told the Dallas Morning News. “I’ve heard of isolated incidents before, but what’s most appalling is that it’s obvious this is organized.”

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The investigation comes as Texas’ state schools are already under fire. Last year the U.S. Department of Justice sounded alarms about abuse and neglect at the state’s institutions and threatened to sue the state if conditions did not improve.

In response, the Texas state Senate passed legislation just this week designed to protect residents at the state schools. The legislation — which still must go through the state’s House of Representatives and get the governor’s approval — would require an independent ombudsman to handle allegations of abuse and neglect. It would also require more stringent background checks for employees and the installation of security cameras at all 13 of the state schools, reports the Dallas Morning News. To read more click here.


Previous stories on this topic:

House Of Horrors: Texas Institutions Deplorable (December 4, 2008)

Violations Persist At Texas Institutions (November 12, 2008)