School Head Strikes Deal Over Shock Therapy Incident
The founder of a controversial school for those with disabilities that uses electric shocks to control students’ behavior will resign and begin five years of probation under an agreement with prosecutors.
The deal stems from a 2007 incident at the Judge Rotenberg Education Center in Canton, Mass. when two teens were administered dozens of electric stocks under the advice of a prank phone caller who impersonated a supervisor at the school.
Prosecutors said that the school’s head Matthew Israel, 77, ordered staff to destroy surveillance tapes from the episode and charged him with misleading a witness and destroying evidence. Under the deal presented in court Wednesday, however, Israel pleaded not guilty but agreed to relinquish his post and serve five years of probation.
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The facility has also agreed to bring in an outside attorney to investigate the school’s practices.
The Judge Rotenberg Center has been the subject of heated debate for years, with many parents arguing that the school has been the only place willing to accept their children with extreme behavioral challenges. Others, however, consider the methods employed by the school to be abusive, reports The Boston Globe. To read more click here.
A U.S. Justice Department investigation of the school is ongoing.