A petition to ban the use of electric shock treatment in a notorious Massachusetts “special needs school” was delivered to state legislators Wednesday. Created by Cheryl McCollins, the mother of a boy who was given electric shocks in 2002 at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, and Gregory Miller, a former teacher assistant who once delivered shock treatments to students, the petition has received more than 215,000 signatures.
On April 24, a settlement was announced in a lawsuit brought against the school alleging malpractice by McCollins on behalf of her son, who was 18 at the time of the incident. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed, according to CBS Boston.
After delivering the petition, McCollins and Miller met with four Massachusetts state lawmakers Wednesday, including Speaker Robert DeLeo, Rep. Kay Khan, Sens. Brian Joyce and Michael Rodrigues.
"We came to the State House in Boston today armed with 215,000 signatures from my Change.org petition to give a voice to the students being shocked at the JRC," Miller said in a press release. "We will continue reaching out to lawmakers until they stop what the UN calls torture from taking place in Massachusetts."
The Judge Rotenberg Center has faced criticism in the past. The school works with autistic, developmentally disabled and emotionally disturbed children from eight states who live at the facility, according to a lengthy investigative story by Mother Jones published in 2007.
Photo via The Judge Rotenberg Center.