(Boston, Massachusetts) Seven staffers at the Judge Rotenberg Education Center, a group home for developmentally disabled youngsters, have been fired for unknowingly participating in a hoax last August when two boys were given dozens of electric shocks.
A prank caller ordered the shocks be given in the early morning hours of August 26th. After the two boys, ages 16 and 19, were awakened in the middle of the night, their arms and legs were bound and shocks were administered.
From 2 to 4:45 a.m., one teenager received 77 shocks, while another got 29, according to the report by the state Department of Early Education and Care, which licenses group homes.The Rotenberg staff members were fired for failing to stop the cruel treatment even though there was sufficient reason to doubt the validity of the caller's orders.
As the two youths screamed, other residents woke up and insisted the accused teenagers had violated no rules. One even told staff that the caller might be a prankster.
Staff members did not realize their mistake until one of them called the central office and determined that no punishment orders had been given for the teenagers.
Fortunately, authorities have identified the prankster and are considering the possibility of criminal charges.
Notably, the Rotenberg facility is believed to be the only special education center in the U.S. that employs electro-shock treatment. Although it remains controversial, many officials and parents are convinced that the treatment is effective for hard-to-teach children.
Outrage is essentially absent which is the exact opposite of the avalanche of worldwide outrage that thundered when American soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison pretended to use electro-shock on terrorist detainees. Maybe readers can reconcile the difference.