Education News fumbles on the Judge Rotenberg Center investigation story

25 Feb

I recently blogged about the U.S. Department of Justice opening an investigation on the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC). Many of the children in the care of the JRC are subject to electric shocks as part of their program.

EducationNews.org picked up the blog piece I wrote and copied it to their own blog, with one major difference. They added an introductory paragraph taken directly from the JRC’s website.

The JUDGE ROTENBERG CENTER (JRC) is a special needs school in Canton, Massachusetts serving ages 3-adult. For 38 years JRC has provided very effective education and treatment to both emotionally disturbed students with conduct, behavior, emotional, and/or psychiatric problems and developmentally delayed students with autistic-like behaviors.

This changes the tone of the story dramatically and gives the reader the impression that I believe that the JRC is “very effective”.

Here is my comment on their blog:

As the person who wrote (most of) the piece above, I am both glad that Education News has decided to pick up this story and, quite frankly, angered at the way it has been handled.

I was not contacted before Education News ran this piece. Had they done so, I would have certainly given permission to run the piece–as it was written. The opening paragraph was added to my piece without permission. That paragraph is how the Judge Rotenberg Center portrays itself, being a direct quote from the home page of the JRC website:

” The JUDGE ROTENBERG CENTER (JRC) is a special needs school in Canton, Massachusetts serving ages 3-adult. For 38 years JRC has provided very effective education and treatment to both emotionally disturbed students with conduct, behavior, emotional, and/or psychiatric problems and developmentally delayed students with autistic-like behaviors”

“JRC has provided very effective education and treatment” frames the piece in a completely different manner than I intended.

Again, I would gladly give permission for the use of this piece, in its original form.

For the record, I am the parent of a child with multiple disabilities. In my state, aversives are illegal. Under no circumstances would we allow the JRC to operate here.

I would encourage readers to read the letter and addendum and ask again can we “condone treating persons with disabilities in a manner that would not be tolerated if applied to other segments of the population”?

Education News has yet to respond either on their blog or via email.

I am glad that the news is getting out about the investigation (more on that soon). I’d be totally fine with Education News copying my post–if they did it accurately. I want this message out there, but don’t tag the “JRC is very effective” message to my name (or pseudonym, as it is).

(note, I corrected EducationNews.com to EducationNews.org, and added a link to their post)

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6 Responses to “Education News fumbles on the Judge Rotenberg Center investigation story”

  1. FreeSpeaker February 25, 2010 at 23:04 #

    Keep us advised as to the status of your complaint.

  2. Dissent February 25, 2010 at 23:08 #

    Before any readers try to go to EducationNews.com web site, note that Google flags it as an “attack site.” Here’s the warning I just received about the site when I went to connect:

    What is the current listing status for educationnews.com?

    Site is listed as suspicious – visiting this web site may harm your computer.

    Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 6 time(s) over the past 90 days.

    What happened when Google visited this site?

    Of the 1 pages we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 1 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time Google visited this site was on 2010-02-18, and the last time suspicious content was found on this site was on 2010-02-18.

    Malicious software is hosted on 1 domain(s), including ads-t.ru/.

    This site was hosted on 1 network(s) including AS30447 (INFB2).

    Has this site acted as an intermediary resulting in further distribution of malware?

    Over the past 90 days, educationnews.com did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites.

    Has this site hosted malware?

    No, this site has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.

  3. Sullivan February 28, 2010 at 05:36 #

    I thank Education News for changing the piece on their site. The paragraph from JRC has been removed.

  4. Dan Farnkoff March 2, 2010 at 01:39 #

    Sounds like plagiarism to me. You should sue, just like corporations do.

  5. Dissent March 2, 2010 at 01:54 #

    This blog has a recent court decision involving JRC that may be of interest to you.

  6. Roe August 13, 2010 at 04:32 #

    Come’on grownups! Let’s save those kids!
    A name and an email address can make you a hero to a disabled abused child…
    The infamous Judge Rotenberg Center for disabled kids, even the United Nations has declared this school in MA an institution of torture. Now despite its high financial clout you can join human rights groups the world over in ending the abuse, and preventing more deaths! All you need is a name and email address to sign the online petition and show the UN what Americans think of state sponsored torture!
    Sign the petition here…
    http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/petition-sign.cgi?ASDADVO
    Read more about it here…
    http://www.narpa.org/ABC_News-UN_Calls_Shock_Treatment_at_JRC_Torture.htm

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