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News Items / Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« on: April 24, 2012, 10:37:09 PM » ... g-20120424

Rotenberg trial ends with settlement; former student’s mom vows to keep fighting

Updated: Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012, 7:23 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012, 7:20 PM EDT

Mike Beaudet

Kevin Rothstein Producer ... z1t12QtoQ7

News Items / Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« on: April 23, 2012, 09:02:21 PM » ... t-20120423

Jury gets Rotenberg case, must decide whether shocks were treatment

Updated: Monday, 23 Apr 2012, 8:51 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 23 Apr 2012, 8:51 PM EDT

Mike Beaudet

Kevin Rothstein Producer [email protected]

(FOX 25 / - Treatment or torture? That’s the question in a jury’s hands on Monday after closing arguments were made in the civil trial pitting the Judge Rotenberg Center against one of its former students.

Andre McCollins was 18-years-old when he was shocked and restrained for hours at the Canton-based Rotenberg Center in 2002, an ordeal which was captured on one of the center’s cameras.

There’s no question that McCollins was restrained face-down for nearly six hours and given some 30 shocks, but the two sides in the malpractice case dispute just about everything else.

In his closing argument, Rotenberg Center attorney David O’Connor asked jurors not to be too quick to judge that video without understanding how difficult it can be to treat clients like McCollins, who he says was violent and aggressive that day.

“Certainly that video is very unsettling, but it is people that JRC cares for on a daily basis. They don’t reject anybody. They take the toughest patients,” said O’Connor, who also represents two Rotenberg doctors. “At JRC, we don't shut our eyes to the things that make the general public uncomfortable. … what we do at JRC is deal with them our hands, we deal with them directly. Daily.”

McCollins’ mother, Cheryl McCollins, has already testified that the treatment her son got was “torture.” McCollins’ attorney, Ben Novotny, hammered home that point in his closing argument, asking the jury why, if the shock treatments are so good, no other place in the country uses them.

He recounted McCollins’ ordeal that day: “If he asks for help, he's crying out, help me and no and screaming, they shock him. If he's scared and he tenses up, they shock him,” Novotny said. “Ask yourself, is there any more vulnerable position to be in other than what Andre was in that Friday afternoon, lying there, legs spread, face down and getting shocked for screaming and getting shocked for being afraid. What did they want Andre to do? What could he have done to stop them?”

The jury began deliberations at 3:30 on Monday afternoon and has already requested a television and VCR so they can watch the video as well as a transcript of the judge’s lengthy jury instructions dealing with the law and how it should be applied.

The jurors also sent a question to the judge asking about whether the Judge Rotenberg Center itself was a defendant as opposed to the three doctors named in the lawsuit. Judge Barbara Dortch-Okara said she’d answer it for the jurors Tuesday morning.

News Items / Re: St. John's Military School - Violence Alleged
« on: April 23, 2012, 05:18:14 PM »
In contrast to 9 lawsuits since 2006 and the horrible abuse described above, which clearly shows a culture of abuse, St. John's is Awarded, Accredited and received the "highest honor with distinction" from the United States Army Cadet Command according to their website. I thought it important to point out how a program like this can APPEAR to be so amazingly wonderful to those visiting or seeing a partial view. At the same time, this program is torturing children and maintaining such a damaging environment.

Dual Accreditation

As a result of the review, St. John's has, once again, received the rating of "Accredited" from both the Kansas Department of Education AND AdvancED, giving the school dual accreditation!

Top Private School Award awarded St. John's Military School the Parents' Choice Top Private School Award, as published in Business Week magazine. St. John's was the only military school in the country to receive this distinction.

"Honor Unit With Distinction"

AFI (Annual Formal Inspection) was held April 16th, 2012.  This is an annual inspection given by the United States Army Cadet Command.  A minimum score of 950 (out of 1,000 total points) is required to maintain the standard of "Honor Unit With Distinction".

The 124th Corps of Cadets earned the highest AFI score of all military schools in the country with a 999 and is, once again, honored to receive "Honor Unit With Distinction" classification!

This is the second straight year St. John's has held the highest score of all military schools in the country with a 999.  The coveted "Honor Unit With Distinction" has been awarded to St. John's for over 20 consecutive years!

From their website:

News Items / Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« on: April 22, 2012, 09:35:12 PM » ... treatments

Letter to the Editor:

Former Teacher's Aid at Judge Rotenberg Center Comments on FOX TV Video of JRC Shock Treatments
Former Judge Rotenberg Center employee responds to Fox News video released in court last week.

April 17, 2012

Editor's note: This is a Letter to the Editor by former JRC employee Gregory Miller. Miller is commenting on the graphic Fox TV video  of JRC student Andre McCollins being shocked that was shown in court last week.

My name is Greg Miller.  I worked at the Judge Rotenberg Center as a Teacher's Assistant (with Massachusetts Teacher's Certification) for three years, starting in January of 2003, and ending in March of 2006.  I resigned and left on my own accord, then I wrote Dr. Israel a letter to inform him why I resigned.  I was interviewed for Mother Jones Magazine, for Boston Globe, and for ABC Nightline, in 2007.

I wanted to add more information regarding the 4-point board shocks and the context in which they were used.  What you do not see in this student's case on this video that I did observe with other students is the added element of psychological torture through the means of positioning the staff with the remote control outside of the door of the room with a silent timer.

Normally when a student knows he or she is about to get shocked, they instinctively tense up their muscles in anticipation of the shock as soon as a staff reaches for the remote control.

You can see Andre [McCollins] in this video tensing up his body in anticipation of the 16th or 17th shock out of 31 shocks that he received for the day.

By having the staff with the remote control and timer stand outside of the classroom door, the student would not know when the next shock was coming.  For some students, the amount of time between each shock would be varied, say a five minute wait before one shock then a 15 minute wait until the next shock, so that the student on the four-point board would literally go crazy in anticipation by not knowing when the next shock was going to take place.  When the shocks are spaced out over time at uneven intervals, and without the ability to see a staff reach for the device, students would tense up their bodies and scream, over and over, thinking that the shock was about to take place, until their muscles would get so tired that they could no longer tense up.  The student then would sadly "give up" in apathy, much like a prey who has already lost.

This added element of varying the minutes between the electric shocks in my opinion was much worse than the horrific shocks themselves.  It added a whole other dimension of helplessness and hopelessness to a student who was already tied up to the board and getting shocked.

The ability for students to tense up their muscles in anticipation of a shock gives the student at least some hope of protecting themselves from severe pain, and with that gone, and with the muscles and student voice giving out from repeated tensing up of the muscles and the screaming and crying, some students appeared to resign their will to live.

For those who have not been there in person to witness those psychiatric "treatments," it may be difficult to visualize how significant those varied timed shocks were to students, or to imagine how bad those treatments really were.  I cannot imagine any sane parents watching a video of their child receiving that kind of treatment and approving of the treatment for their child.  I do NOT believe that parents have made an "informed consent" when they have their children placed on those treatments because they have not seen what those treatments actually look like until now.

I am also certain that other parents, including those whose children are NOT placed on 4-point boards for electric shocks, are not giving an informed consent to have their children shocked at JRC.  Parents, with one exception that I saw in my entire three years at JRC, were not permitted into the classrooms.  If parents could spend time inside the classrooms, they would see students getting shocked for many mild behaviors, with no distinction made between tearing a small thread or a paper cup as different from tearing posters off the walls.  The student plan says to shock them regardless.  There was no distinction between standing up and politely raising a hand to ask to go to the bathroom versus standing up in an act of aggression.  

Worst of all was when one student had a behavior, and ALL of the students were punished in the room of up to 40 students by having to watch their classmate get shocked, which I view as being significantly penalized due to the severe trauma.  For this reason, I believe that all of the children were being punished even though they were not exhibiting any behaviors, merely for being there in the classroom minding to their own task.

I was having nightmares as a teacher, and some of the other staff who I spoke to were also having nightmares.  We were not even wearing backpacks with electric shock devices or electrodes strapped to our bodies!  The students often did not know if they had exhibited a behavior, or if it was a classmate who had exhibited a behavior.  It was not uncommon when one student had a behavior for the staff to merely reach for the remote control on his or her belt, triggering five or seven other students to all react in panic with behaviors that cause each of the children to get shocked.  One student would yell out in fear, another might jump out of his seat, another student might try to pull her electrodes off of her skin or scream, or another student might hold the arm of the staff who had the remote control.

Another student might throw down his task onto his table in a panic, and other students might just sit in their seats and scream and yell.  All of these behaviors were defined as "GED"-shock behaviors, and we were required to shock all of the students exhibiting these behaviors along with the one student who had the initial behavior.

On a number of occasions, a staff would reach for a pencil in an apron pocket triggering students in their state of high anxiety to think that the staff was reaching for the remote controls, and resulting in groups of students being shocked when they reacted.

I don't believe a parent has made an informed consent to such treatment until they have been in the classroom and have seen their child and other children react together under such great stress.  If I had nightmares as a staff from working at JRC, and I did not have electrodes tied to me, just imagine what it is like for non-verbal children who are tied to the electrodes and devices in their backpacks 24-hours per day!

One parent approved a plan for her son with autism to get shocked every time he closed his eyes for 15 seconds while at his desk, but I believe that was just one bad parent who didn't like the fact that her son had autism.  For most of the parents, I believe they were largely misinformed and desperate.

Personally, I never intentionally shocked a student tied to a 4-point restraint board, nor had I shocked a so-called "high functioning" student (which meant mostly normal cognitive and verbal abilities) in my three years at the Judge Rotenberg Center.  I worked mostly with students with autism who had severe behaviors and who I did not see tied to 4-point restraint board to be shocked multiple times.

But I was working in the room a number of times when higher functioning students were tied to the 4-point restraint boards getting shocked, which left me feeling nauseous and in nightmares for days until my doctor advised me to leave for the sake of my own health.  

If I could emphasize two messages in response to watching the video clip on Fox News of Andre McCollins, it would be to say, "Yes!  It really is that bad, and much worse!", and that Andre's mother absolutely must be genuine in saying that she did not give an informed consent for her son to be treated in that way.  Parents may sign permission for their children to be shocked, but that is very different from actually seeing the treatments and how the treatments are executed.  There is no "informed" consent until parents have seen what they are actually approving.

Public Sector Gulags / Re: Death at Leake & Watts
« on: April 21, 2012, 11:14:55 PM »

Public Sector Gulags / Re: Death at Leake & Watts
« on: April 21, 2012, 11:10:16 PM »
This is another article where a man was killed due to prone restraint. There was an attempt to outlaw prone restraint in Colorado but TEEN PROGRAM DIRECTORS spoke out against it and it did not become law. You can watch the video of the man dying and teen program staff defending restraint in residential programs... Previous stories to this one are listed at the bottom of the article. ... tml?mid=52


Video Shows Struggling Mental Patient Die In Restraint

Prone Restraint Technique Was Banned In State Facilities After CALL7 Investigation Found It Fatal

Arthur Kane and John Ferrugia , CALL7 Investigators

POSTED: 11:17 am MDT November 3, 2011
UPDATED: 1:20 pm MST November 7, 2011

PUEBLO, Colo. -- CALL7 Investigators obtained an internal video showing Pueblo state hospital officials forcing a patient on to a table, strapping him down as he struggles and suffocates, and then taking several minutes to unstrap him and attempt to provide medical care.

The video shows Troy Geske recoiling as attendants bring him into the isolation room. After Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo staff strap him down, Geske tries to lift himself to breath but eventually collapses and dies.

A worker notices he’s not moving, rushes in, and attempts to rouse him. The staff attempts to revive Geske with oxygen, but find the emergency tank empty. Attendants didn’t begin CPR until it was too late, the video shows.

The state went to court to try to keep the video, which graphically shows the danger of prone restraint, away from the family and public.

The Colorado Department of Human Services, which runs CMHIP, banned the restraint after a CALL7 Investigation into Geske’s death.

“When I watched my son being put face down, leaned on by four huge men not allowing any part of his body to move... his head or anything, all I thought of was inhumane,” said Troy’s mother Linda Stephens. “One pressing his face to the table. One had his elbow in his back which would further deplete the lungs of his air. I can't imagine the fright, being so scared, what my son went through.”

CALL7 Investigator John Ferrugia showed the video to Dr. Harlan Lubin, who works for Denver Health and covers the Denver jail. Lubin has treated violent and dangerous patients, including adolescents in the youth corrections system. He said the face-down restraint is too dangerous to use.

“I don’t think there is any reason why prone restraint should be used as opposed to other types of restraints or other interventions,” he said. “You’re just bringing on a lot of added risks when you do prone restraint.”

But legislators earlier this year disagreed when they killed a bill that would have banned prone restraint at all mental health facilities -- not just state facilities. Lawmakers heard from directors and staff of adolescent and children’s residential treatment facilities that sometimes use prone restraint on patients many times per day.

“We utilize therapeutic crisis intervention and prone restraint is what we do,” testified Rebecca Hea, executive director at the Denver Children’s Home. “I’m unbelievably anxious that a law is going to go into effect that will limit my staff’s ability to keep kids safe.”

But Troy Geske’s mother said the techniques demonstrated in the legislative hearing were not prone restraint and said people should see what it’s really like.

“I wanted to jump up and go ‘seriously... do you really think that is a prone restraint?’” she said. “It's not! Prone restraint is violent.”

A grand jury found the state hospital responsible for Geske’s death but did not find criminal wrong doing.
Lubin said the procedure should not be used.

“Just inherent in the prone restraint is the risk that the person will have difficulty with breathing and unfortunately, in this case, die,” Lubin said.

CDHS is meeting with contractors, including those at youth residential treatment facilities, to explore new techniques that will eventually replace prone restraint. And there is an audit underway of deaths at the state hospital after a series of CALL7 investigations showed problems and mistakes at the hospital that led to the unnecessary deaths of patients.

Stephens says it is essential people see the videotape of the restraint that killed her son and hopes the video will prompt lawmakers to act.

“If I can watch a video of how my son died, then dammit you can watch one to hopefully speak out and help this from happening again,” she said. "I imagine my son (gasping for air) trying to breathe. For just a short period, (his) brain has to know I'm going to die, I can't breathe.

“I don't want him to die in vain,” she said. “And the only way we can do that is to keep it out there, to let people know what happened -- the reality of the prone restraint.”

Previous Stories: (Links are on web-page)

September 27, 2011: Behind The Walls Of State Mental Hospital
August 26, 2011: Pueblo State Hospital May Eliminate Internal Police Force
August 9, 2011: 4 Workers Suspended After Patient Injured
July 19, 2011: CALL7 Investigation Questions State Hospital Police Policy, Contract
June 28, 2011: State Human Services Moves To Ban Prone Restraint
May 9, 2011: No Discipline For 5 Deputies Involved In Jail Death
May 2, 2011: Mother: State Hospital System 'Killed My Son'
May 2, 2011: Grand Jury: 'Systematic Failure' In State Hospital Patient Death
March 22, 2011: Prone Restraint Ban Fails In Committee
March 21, 2011: New State Human Services Director Promises Change
March 18, 2011: Legislature To Decide Whether To Ban Prone Restraint
February 28, 2011: Grand Jury Looking Into Williams' Crash Delayed
February 4, 2011: State Mental Hospital Head Steps Down
February 2, 2011: Prone Restraint Bill Moving Forward
December 23, 2010: 7NEWS Airs Investigative Documentary Of State Hospital
November 16, 2010: State Hospital Review Recommends Less Restraint
November 16, 2010: State Banned Fatal Restraint Before Recent Death
September 24, 2010: Pueblo Patient Suffocated In Restraint, M.E. Rules

News Items / Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« on: April 21, 2012, 06:21:57 AM »
All FOX Undercover Videos and articles can be found here also:

News Items / Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« on: April 21, 2012, 06:19:03 AM » ... z1sfWWJZjc

FOX Undercover: Mike Beaudet talks about the case

Updated: Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012, 8:44 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012, 8:44 AM EDT

(FOX 25/ - There was a client screaming out in pain at the Judge Rotenberg Center as he was tied down and shocked for hours and FOX Undercover brought you the exclusive video as it was played in court during a civil lawsuit.
Investigative reporter Mike Beaudet talks about the case.

YouTube Video:

News Items / Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« on: April 21, 2012, 05:53:15 AM » ... l-20120420

JRC expert admits shocks didn’t work, but says damage was minimal

Updated: Friday, 20 Apr 2012, 6:34 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 20 Apr 2012, 6:35 PM EDT

BOSTON (FOX 25 / - There were tough questions in court Friday for an expert who suggested that a teenager shocked and restrained for hours was treated appropriately.

Psychiatrist Lloyd Price, testifying on behalf of the Judge Rotenberg Center, tried to portray former JRC student Andre McCollins as a violent and angry young man who needed to be restrained.

McCollins was 18 at the time and a client of JRC in 2002 when he was shocked 31 times inside a classroom, mostly while restrained face-down on a restraint board. The treatment was inappropriate and unneeded and is causing damage to this day, his lawyers contend.

Price says the short-term damage to McCollins was not nearly as bad as McCollins says and that there have been no long-term affects. Price even disagrees with the diagnosis of autism given to McCollins.

 by a JRC camera, but Price testified that the treatment was necessary.

“He did not appear to me to be scared or frightened. In fact he had some periods of calm, so the way I see this is he was angry. Part of the way he showed that was by being oppositional,” he said.

In a testy exchange with McCollins' lawyer, the psychiatrist had to admit that the shocks were not helping.
“It’s not working when he gets shocked up to 30 (times), right?” asked attorney Ben Novotny.
“Correct,” Price replied.

“How about 29. Was it working then?” Novotny said.

“Well if it's not working at 30 it's clearly not working at 29,” Price replied.

“How about 28?” Novotny asked.

“Same answer,” Price replied.

“Twenty-five. Was that five between 25 and 30, were those working for him?” Novotny asked.

“No,” Price replied.

“How about 20 to 30, were those shocks working?” Novotny asked.

“None of the shock treatments singularly or in totality appeared to be changing the behavior,” Price replied.

Also testifying today was the Judge Rotenberg Center's founder and former executive director, Dr. Matthew Israel.
Final testimony and closing arguments in the case are expected Monday in Norfolk Superior Court.

YouTube Video:

News Items / Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« on: April 20, 2012, 08:06:02 PM » ... s-20120411

Shocks given at Rotenberg Center were “harming” autistic teen, expert testifies

Updated: Thursday, 12 Apr 2012, 12:00 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012, 7:35 PM EDT

Mike Beaudet

Kevin Rothstein, Producer

BOSTON (FOX 25 / - Being restrained and shocked for nearly seven hours at the Judge Rotenberg Center permanently damaged autistic teenager Andre McCollins, a psychiatrist testified in another dramatic day in court on Wednesday featuring more video of his treatment.
“Now we have an individual who's heavily medicated, state institutionalized with no immediate prospect of any kind of independent functioning. And all of that turned on October 25, 2002 when his psychotic disorder was traumatized by the 31 or so shocks he got on that day,” Dr. Marc Whaley said, testifying on McCollins’ behalf.
Video from the ordeal, recorded by the school’s camera and played for the jury in McCollins’ civil trial in Norfolk Superior Court, is prompting calls for action from state Senate President Therese Murray and now a top state official is calling for action.
She released a statement tonight saying in part, “This is the only facility in the nation that can practice shock therapy and this video is beyond disturbing. These therapies are inhumane and should not be allowed. The Senate has repeatedly passed legislation to stop this practice and it's time for the entire Legislature to take action."
McCollins’ troubles started on a bus ride to school, where McCollins was shocked and put into restraints for assaulting someone. He was shocked again inside a classroom after he refused to take off his jacket, tied to a restraint board and shocked.
The jury watched as McCollins was begging for help and the shocks to stop, all while he was restrained face-down with a helmet on his head.
“There was ample evidence to show this treatment was harming that individual at that time and certainly not helping him,” Whaley said. “It's a gross deviation from accepted standards. They're treating him like an object. Just tying him down. Making sure that his arms and legs are fastened, but not engaging and certainly not trying to teach him anything about his behavior.”
Whaley watched portions of the video and, under questioning from McCollins’ attorney Ben Novotny, described what he saw for the jury.
“He's crying out. Pleading really to not be shocked and those pleadings are ignored,” he said.
McCollins was so psychotic, Whaley testified, that it was impossible for him to control his behavior, which is what the shocks, a type of aversive therapy, were intended to do.
“There's no reputable qualified psychologist, psychiatrist that would ever recommend aversive therapy as a treatment for acute psychotic symptoms. That was done in the 1800s,” he said.
Lawyers for the Judge Rotenberg Center and several of its doctors say that what happened to McCollins was all part of his court-approved treatment plan.
Under cross examination, Whaley admitted he had only seen about half of the approximately eight hours of videotape.
“Didn't you think if you were an independent expert coming in to try and give a fair opinion a fair opinion to these jurors, you should have looked at the entirety of that tape before you gave an opinion?” asked attorney Edward Hinchey, who represents one of the Rotenberg Center’s psychologists.
“Not in this case,” Whaley replied.
Cross-examination of Whaley continues Thursday, and Andre’s mother Cheryl McCollins is expected to resume her testimony, which began Tuesday.
The Rotenberg Center has declined to comment about the McCollins case, but a public relations firm hired by the Center released a statement tonight saying in part, “JRC educates and treats the most difficult behaviorally involved students in the country and administers the (shocks) to treat severe behavior disorders only after other treatments have failed and a court order is obtained to do so at the request of the student’s parents and doctor.”

The statement also said, “On the issue of the video tape, the sole reason a recording exists is because JRC maintains cameras in every room where a student may receive treatment. It is the only such facility to do so. This is for the protection of the students in our care and is precisely to enable us to review every application of the (shock device).”

Youtube Video:

Public Sector Gulags / Re: Death at Leake & Watts
« on: April 20, 2012, 06:57:59 PM » ... d-incident

Leake & Watts boy's death: 'I can't breathe,' boy shouts after staffers piled onto him, witness says

5:28 PM, Apr. 19, 2012

Written by

YONKERS — The 16-year-old boy who died Wednesday night shouted, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe!” as eight staff members piled onto him during a violent confrontation on a basketball court at Leake & Watts residential treatment center, a witness told The Journal News/ today.

Corey Foster was being ordered to leave the gym with other students when he took a shot that ricocheted off the basket into the head of one employee. Another worker then pushed Foster against a wall, and Foster “went for his leg,” said witness William Green, 18. That’s when the staffers converged and took Foster down, Green said.

After Foster said he couldn’t breathe, one staffer replied, “If you can’t breathe, you wouldn’t be talking.” That same person then punched Foster in the head, Green said, adding “I saw the fist connect.” Green, as he was being forced out, said he saw foam coming out of Foster’s mouth.

The account mirrors the statements of two other witnesses, who said several boys were shooting hoops when the staff ordered them to clear the court so they could play. Staff piled onto Foster after he became angry, they said.
“When they got off of him, he was on the ground and wasn’t responsive,” said Antonio Reeder, 17, a resident.
The other witness, Malik Legree, 17, said Foster “was angry that he was being pushed off” the court.

Police are reviewing video from the gym at the Biondi Education Center, questioning witnesses and awaiting autopsy results to try to determine how Foster died and whether there was any criminal wrongdoing. Yonkers Detective Lt. Patrick McCormack said police are aware of the witness accounts and that “it’s possible” people could be charged in the case.
“It could turn out that way, but right now, there are no indications” of any criminality, McCormack said. “It’s all going to have to be looked at.”

John Francis, a student who knew the dead teen, said that Foster was from New York City and that he had been physically restrained before by school staff and taken into classrooms to calm down. Francis himself has been physically restrained by teachers before and descibed it as “pretty rough. They just hold you down.”

(Page 2 of 3)

In some instances, he said, students are restrained by choke holds. “It’s not appropriate,” he said. “They have to be more careful.”

Foster, whose address was listed as Leake & Watts at 463 Hawthorne Ave., was rushed to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers, where he was pronounced dead.

Meredith Barber, director of institutional advancement at the Leake & Watts Yonkers office, released this statement this afternoon:

“Last evening, a 16-year old resident of the Residential Treatment Center died following basketball play at the school gymnasium. Many staff and residents were present at this recreational activity. As soon as there was any indication that the young man needed medical intervention, on campus medical personnel and 911 were summoned immediately. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to this young man’s family and all who loved him.

“At this time we cannot speak to any of the details of the cause of his death pending the outcome of the police and medical examiner’s investigations.

“We are fully cooperating with these investigations and will continue to do so going forward. At this time, out of respect for his family and their privacy, we will not be releasing any personal details of this young man.

“The loss of any life, especially one so young, is heart wrenching. We all mourn the tragic death of this young man.”
Lt. McCormack gave this account this morning: Foster was playing basketball and there was a dispute on the court. Multiple Leake & Watts staffers restrained the boy and he went into cardiac arrest. While they were restraining him, the police were called.

When police arrived, Foster was lying unresponsive on the gym floor with ambulance workers and school staff administring CPR, McCormack said. Members of the police Emergency Services Unit also tried to revive Foster as he was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He was pronounced dead in the hospital emergency room at 9:22 p.m.
McCormack said it was Leake & Watts staffers who restrained the boy, not the police. "We did not restrain him at any time. We actually assisted in resuscitating him," McCormack said.

(Page 3 of 3)

McCormack said he did not know how the Leake & Watts staffers restrained the boy. He said no mechanical restraints were used, describing it as “physical restraint” by school staff. He did not say how many people held Foster down.
“This is an open and active investigation,” McCormack said, adding that detectives spent the night interviewing teachers, students and school staff. “No one has been charged criminally at this time.”

McCormack confirmed that the gym had surveillance cameras and police were reviewing the video today.
Fellow students described Foster as a big young man, 6 foot 1 or 6 foot 2 and heavy, well-built.

The Westchester Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an autopsy and said results were not expected until Friday
At Leake & Watts this morning, security guards were stopping and checking every car at the main entrance on Hawthorne Avenue.

Shelton Anderson, 15, a non-resident student who lives in the Bronx, said that he knew Foster for four or five years. Foster started living on campus recently because something happened to his grandmother, Anderson said.
Foster was a nice kid, Anderson said, but: "He was a little off. He would just wild out. If someone said something wrong about him, he would go crazy."

John Gray, a non-resident student arriving at the campus this morning, said he knew Corey Foster for months. He said Foster wasn't loud but he wasn't quiet either.

"It's a shame that happened," Gray said. "No one deserves to die."
Gray said he was surprised at the death because there are fights, but the staff usually stops it and calms it down. "If there's a fight, they just break it up like any other school," Gray said.

On Foster's death, he said: "It went the wrong way. Mistakes happen."
Police were called to the non-profit facility which caters to troubled youth about 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The school specializes in educating students with emotional and social difficulties, according to the Leake & Watts website.
Police have, in recent years, been called upon to deal with students at the school suspected of violent crimes.

In May 2009, a 20-year-old resident at the Leake & Watts home at the same Hawthorne Avenue address was accused of sexually molesting an employee of the institution.

In September 2008, a 17-year-old student was arrested after swinging a pair of scissors at a school monitor.

News Items / Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« on: April 20, 2012, 02:00:52 AM » ... s-20120419

Shocked teen was cared for, school says

Updated: Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 6:50 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 19 Apr 2012, 6:50 PM EDT

BOSTON (FOX 25 / - Testimony continued Thursday in the trial of an autistic teenager restrained and shocked for hours with lawyers for one of the Judge Rotenberg Center’s doctors playing long clips of video from the youth’s ordeal.

A lawyer for defendant Robert von Heyn, who is now the director of clinical services at the Rotenberg Center, played the clips from the end of Andre McCollin’s day inside the classroom, asking von Heyn to point out where a pediatrician and staff members were checking on McCollins and giving him encouragement.

The Judge Rotenberg Center maintains that McCollins was dangerously aggressive that day and the shocks and restraint he received were part of his court-approved treatment plan.

McCollins lawyers say the treatment was excessive and left him damaged to this day. McCollins is suing the Rotenberg Center in Norfolk Superior Court, saying the 31 shocks he received in the classroom that day in 2002 plus being restrained face-down on a board for five-and-a-half hours put him in a catatonic state.

The trial continues Friday with testimony from Rotenberg Center founder and former executive director Matthew Israel, who is also a defendant.

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News Items / Re: Judge Rotenberg - Shock torture video released
« on: April 18, 2012, 11:40:44 PM » ... e-20120418

Gov. Patrick supports shock ban, legislation so far has stalled in House

Updated: Wednesday, 18 Apr 2012, 7:37 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 18 Apr 2012, 7:36 PM EDT

Mike Beaudet

Kevin Rothstein, Producer

BOSTON (FOX 25 / - In the latest fallout from the controversial video of an autistic teenager restrained and shocked for hours, Gov. Deval Patrick now says he would likely support a bill banning shock treatments outright if it came across his desk.

“I'm uncomfortable of the idea of electric shock treatment. That's why we put in the ban for new patients at the center,” Patrick told FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet Wednesday, referring to new regulations his administration passed last year that didn’t affect patients already receiving the shocks.

“We have some constraints about what we can do with patients who are there already because of existing court orders, and I have to acknowledge there's a medical view on the other side of this. But just as a person, it's something I'm uncomfortable with,” Patrick continued.

“Should they be banned outright?” Beaudet asked.

“As I say, there's a medical view on the other side of that question, but if that bill were to get to me I think I'd be inclined to sign it. I want to make sure it was thoughtful and that the opposing views have been considered,” Patrick replied.
The Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton is the only place in the country to use powerful electric shocks as aversive therapy. That practice is under renewed scrutiny with the release of video of it in use.

The video was recorded by one of the Rotenberg Center’s cameras and it shows 18-year-old Andre McCollins being restrained and shocked for hours in a classroom in 2002. The first recorded shock came after he refused to take off his coat, and later shocks came for yelling or when he tensed his body, both behaviors that his treatment plan called for shocks.
The video first came to light last week as McCollins’ civil trial began in Norfolk Superior Court. McCollins’ mother has already testified that the shocks amounted to “torture.”

The controversial treatment is already in the cross hairs of Senate Pres. Therese Murray, who said last week that the video was more evidence that the shocks should be banned outright in Massachusetts. Legislation to do so has failed in the past because of support for aversive therapies in the House. Speaker Robert DeLeo voiced concerns about the video but stopped short of calling for a ban.

The ban on new students getting the shocks may already be in place but the Rotenberg Center is planning to challenge those regulations in court. The Rotenberg Center has declined so far to comment on the McCollins case outside of court but says the shocks are an appropriate form of treatment and only used after a court approves them.

In court Wednesday, lawyers for the Rotenberg Center and its doctors continued to defend their treatment of McCollins. They played long segments of video from that day which showed staff members checking on his restraints, offering him a drink, and even trying to take him to the bathroom.

The effort to take him to the bathroom ended with another shock because, as one of the defendants testified today, McCollins put up resistance when they tried to take him off a restraint board. So instead of a trip to the bathroom, McCollins was shocked again, restrained, and had a diaper put on him.

The defense will continue to make its case Thursday in a trial that's now expected to last into next week.

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