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Mom Says School Tortured Her Son

Mom Says School Tortured Her Son

Do you ever worry that a teacher, counselor, or other caretaker is indifferent to your child? When you're the mom of a disabled child, it seems you have to worry more.

Massachusetts mom Cheryl McCollins is up in arms over the "horrific" disciplinary treatment her teen son, Andre received at his school, The Rotenberg Center, which she witnessed via videotape. The tape shows Andre being tied down and shocked 31 times over 7 hours, without bathroom breaks, water or food.

The school's attorney describes the electric shock therapy Andre received as safe, effective, and beneficial to the kids who receive it, but McCollins says not so, citing Andre's acute stress response.


The McCollins family is pursuing a lawsuit against the Rotenberg Center and would like the videotape to be released for public viewing.

Read more at My Fox Boston

Image Source: via MyFoxBoston

Join The Conversation
AdrianeAdams AdrianeAdams 5 years
Safe, effective, and beneficial? Safe , effective, and beneficial does not put a kid in a comatose state for 3 days!
JareenSherman JareenSherman 5 years
I do believe this Mom about what this teacher did to her son. I had a teacher contacted me one time and told me to tell my son that he needed to go to the bathroom when she thought it was okay. How in the hell could anyone go to the bathroom when they are told? Our bodies let us know when we have to go. Some of these teachers are crazy. Not only should these teachers have and education to teach our children, but they also need physic evaluation before attempting to teach our children.
JessicaMcNeely JessicaMcNeely 5 years
Edit: I did report the facility and all the investigators would tell me was that they were investigating.
JoyYates9254 JoyYates9254 5 years
I think what they have done is excessive use of therapy. I have heard of restraining a child who was hurting themself or others, until they were calm enough to be released. But never 7 hours. And electroshock therapy has been used on children who have problems with climbing, or running away, etc. but it is suppose to be mild, light sensations whenever they perform the misbehavior. For climbing, a small shock is sent through the leg to cause a nuicense in the leg enough to deter the behavior. But never shocked 31 times. I don't think withholding food, water or bathroom breaks from any child is considered appropriate in any way. Yes I have kids who like to procrastinate when in the bathroom getting ready for bed, but I get up off my butt and make sure they are doing what they need to. And if they feel the need to play around, then the next night they start getting ready early and they have an earlier bedtime. I have brushed my older kids teeth, but it was as a learning technique. If they can't show me that they are "big" enough to do it, then I will treat them like they are toddlers. This may seem like shaming a child at this age, but I don't normally have to do it again. My 9 yr old used to like taking 30 minutes to get ready for school (getting clothes on and making bed), I told him that if he kept taking his sweet time, that I would start dressing him so he could be ready on time. It only took me saying it to get it through to him, now he is dressed, bed made and eating breakfast in 20-25 minutes.
JessicaMcNeely JessicaMcNeely 5 years
I am not knowledgeable enough of electroshock to debate this, but having been a babysitter, nanny, nursery, daycare and childcare worker over the space of more than a decade I am appalled what is allowed at even some of the -regular- preschools and daycares! Before going to these I had babysat, been a nursery caregiver and a nanny. When I was in training for one in particular I was informed (truly and this was found to be correct IME) that the director favored those who kissed butt, which I was not a trouble-making diva, nor a brown-noser so I almost didn't exist to her. In training I was also told be several teacher where the camera's blind spots were, what you could do to a child when and where and how you could punish a child physically without leaving marks! In disbelief I went to other teachers higher up than me and they confirmed and gave -more- "advice!" The director wouldn't see me and the assistant director (2nd in charge) was clueless about children as she had no schooling or training, but the government didn't know what to do with her so they put her there. She broke protocol and rules left and right (one of many being opening the metal door without looking through the window, causing a 2 year old to fall and hit his head on a hard surface. We were specifically trained not to move the child until they sat up on their own, but comfort as much as possible in order to determine spinal and head injuries. When I came over with a tissue rubbing his belly and coaching him to sit up so I could hold him -after- he sat up as another teacher went for the first aid kit he berated me and the other teachers nearby (who agreed with me as they drilled it into us, and later we were able to speak with the director who told us we did everything right and she would be retrained to follow protocol, again) for not picking him up we explained, to which she said b#llsh!t and scooped him up, letting his head reel backward from the speed and force of scraping him off the ground, one teacher just about feinted when his head rocked back like that) among other things, such as blaming people for things they did not do and causing mayhem wherever she could. I found out teachers had done things to ears since "an ear does not bruise" and apparently feet don't bruise easily and twists as well as pressure points and so on... I couldn't work there anymore and was so broken-hearted I went into banking and haven't gone back to childcare since. I might be a nanny again someday when my own kids get older, but I don't want my or anyone else's kids to ever go to that one. The parents wrote to the director and wrote to me to come back and I did visit the children as often as I could and helped some of the teachers decorate and organize their rooms, but I could not be in that environment for extended periods. Makes me shiver nauseously just thinking about it.
TerrieHumphries TerrieHumphries 5 years
I have seen documentaries on this school. I can't believe the families would go through with this and try to keep this school running. Although as a parent of an Autistic child with aggressive tendencies, I know their desparation. I just hate it for the children. If parents are this desparate, rather them let their children go to foster care and get treatment than to do something this drastic.
KayeFielding KayeFielding 5 years
I thought this sort of treatment was only used in the dark ages......poor child.Absolutely disgusting........
SARAHm95416 SARAHm95416 5 years
This school is known for this treatment, the electric shock. Of course this mother knew, it's their policy. Being tied down may also have been part of his plan though they likely didn't make her aware. It's a private pay situation and last resort for many families. However, JRC has been sued many times and lost for abuse of said policy. The state has tried to shut them down for years but families (with money) advocate to keep them open. Google them, they're easy to find, Judge Rotenberg Center. Despicable place.
FionaTomsYarnton FionaTomsYarnton 5 years
Reading this, and the attached news report, leaves me sick to my core. Electric shocks aside, tying a person down for seven hours is horrific enough. Interesting that there was already an investigation going on into this "therapy" (oh so questionable) and further video tapes have been erased during that investigation. I understand that special needs children can be difficult to manage, but there are ways that DON'T involve torture. This school needs to be shut down immediately, pending further investigation.
LindaHonan92919 LindaHonan92919 5 years
Even though the behavior of this school is extreme, I worry about my son being ignored , having his arm grabbed when he is in a mood, or yelling at him. For the first time in my life I have to let go and hope that he is doing well, and that people are treating him right in school.(kindergarten)
ChristineRodriguez83886 ChristineRodriguez83886 5 years
This is horrible
StephanieIreland184 StephanieIreland184 5 years
Why do people who harm other people like this exist????? God bless this boy
victoriajustice victoriajustice 5 years
I hope this mom takes if all but the sad thing is the scar still remains. But they should be tied up he Selves and starved Id be so pissed. Video tape should be release so the world knows how shitty they are!!!!!!!
AndreaNeely8955 AndreaNeely8955 5 years
I pray this mom takes that school for everything she can. I know I would.
VeronicaCastilloWiscovitch VeronicaCastilloWiscovitch 5 years
OMG get taken from their parents for spanking & emotional verbal abuse ; yet how is this not considered child abuse? No way anyone would get away with this if it were my kids ...God forbid! This is sickening!
JohannahV JohannahV 5 years
Oh there would be hell to pay if i was her. Everytime I read anything it just reaffirms my choice to homeschool my children.
EmmaHovind EmmaHovind 5 years
If this wasn't somehow made clear as something the school had in their discipline routine it is an easily won lawsuit. How ever, if it was stated in the guidelines/handbook that most schools have now, especially private ones, then they (the family) will have a struggle. Still 7 hours is ridiculous, criminals are treated better. Sad but true. Any electro-shock is outrageous. If there was even a possability of it being implimented no chance in h-e-double hockeystick would my child ever be there, even for a visit. That is just common sense. How did she see the video yet not have it in her possession. It contains footage of her child and his care and they should not be able to keep it from her....they could stop her from posting it though. At least legally. I just can't believe a school is open and using such methods. It's sickening. It really is.
CoMMember13629904505651 CoMMember13629904505651 5 years
Makes me sick to my stomache!!!
amandagreer33253 amandagreer33253 5 years
i can not believe this.. that poor child and family. all the ppl involved should go to jail..this is considered child abuse where i come from. i am praying for this family.
SueNicholls74194 SueNicholls74194 5 years
shocking that in this day and age ANYONE would think this is "therapy"too right this is torture, to deprive a child of food and water for that long IS torture, institutions do not use shock therapy as treatment any more as it's proven to be of no benefit, child welfare should get involved as should the police, abuse pure and simple
JoanneMartinez26292 JoanneMartinez26292 5 years
All the words I have in mind are obscene right now. That is one "school" that needs to be shocked into the reality of how to treat a human life.
DimitriaCamejo DimitriaCamejo 5 years
This is so wrong and I'm sure his mom did'nt agree to this type of treatment. I don't see why they don't close that place down.
TaniyaSoto TaniyaSoto 5 years
Seriously, what's wrong with people! Why would anyone think this is okay.
pamelawhite11740 pamelawhite11740 5 years
this is awful and I hope that the other parents take their children from this school immediately. Our special needs children are God's special people and if you can abuse them then hopefully you get whats coming to you...
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