Information on the Judge Rotenberg Center

Facts, questions and answers about the abusive school (well, one of the worst of many) that tortures the mentally different because they are mentally different

I think the existence of the place is also due to corporate greed. They want to keep people for years and shock them for transgressions such as asking to go to the bathroom so that they can make all their fancy paperwork about having to shock this one or that one, and show it to the school board and the government, so that the school districts and the government will continue to give them enormous sums of money and maybe give them extra because they see how often the students “have” to be “dealt with”.

List of tortures and excuses for the torture


1. Isolation

2. Food deprivation (The food was thrown away. A lot of good food that could have been given to the poor got thrown away, as they ordered fresh food every day to reward the “good” students and staff.)

3. Electric skin shocks, some leaving a red mark or even blister welts (especially when applied to the same part of the skin multiple times in a short time). Staff would often fail to rotate the electrodes strapped to the students’ skin and that was another reason students got first-degree burns.

4. Spatula spanking

5. Forced inhaling of ammonia

6. Taste aversives

7. Forced ingestion of hot sauce

8. Muscle squeezes

9. Pinches with fingernails

10. Being tied or chained to a person they dislike

11. Restraint with or without a sensory deprivation helmet

12. Shocks at intervals while restrained on a restraint board

13. Removal of “rewards”

14. Denial of food, sleep, restroom breaks and clothing while kept in a room with nothing in it, until they do their work

What the student did (some things right or okay, some wrong, but none deserving of this) to get tortured or threatened with torture:

1. Shredding a Kleenex

2. Playing with a loose thread on clothing

3. Shredding a Styrofoam or paper cup after having drunk the water inside

4. Walking down the carpeted hall with their eyes closed

5. Sneezing and asking for a tissue

6. Asking to go to the bathroom

7. Nagging

8. Swearing

9. Drooling

10. Spitting

11. Silly laughing

12. Failing to maintain a neat appearance

13. Refusing to take off one’s coat in the classroom

14. Full-body tense-ups, sometimes to avoid a shock hurting so much

15. Tensing up part of one’s body, sometimes to avoid a shock hurting so much

16. Self-harming (due to depression or for any reason)

17. Falling asleep in class

18. Complaining to the staff about the center

19. Not eating all their food

20. Stopping work for more than 10 seconds

21. Having clutter on their desk

22. Reacting to other students getting punished

23. Being involuntarily incontinent

24. Failing to submit to a search

25. Noncompliance

26. Saying “You’re fat”, “You stink”, or “I hope you die” to staff (note: There’s a rule against students getting fat or smoking but for staff the wellness program is optional).

27. Having done anything “undesirable” in the past, even if they don’t do it any more or know better now.

28. Not doing something “bad” that they did in the past so that they can be punished for it as a “behavioral rehearsal lesson”

29. Remarking about something being unfair that the staff set up to “prepare the student for the unfair world”

30. Requesting counseling (students were charged reward points for this)

31. Being unfortunate enough to have someone just tell the staff the student had done something wrong even when the student hadn’t

Once a former student, as a prank, called into one of the school’s residential houses pretending to be the school and telling the staff to punish two of the students in the house. The staff did it. Both students received over 70 shocks each while restrained on a board.

32. Refusing to “move on” from an illegal, immoral act done by staff who knew they had done something wrong

33. Not putting on one’s seat belt

34. Not handing his mother an apple

35. Not sitting appropriately and eating his food

36. Refusing to do the same exercise on the computer for hours mindlessly tapping out the same answers

37. Acting sick, actually being sick (They did not recognize she was ill and continued to punish her until she died.)

38. Complaining to their parents about the center

39. Not respecting the artificial environment (one student got in trouble for sharing a slice of pizza with a friend who “hadn’t earned that reward”… maybe he did earn it, by being a friend to his friend!)

40. Keeping a personal journal

41. Not doing free labor (one kid, because he had no place to go on holidays, had to stay at the police station and help clean it)

Other issues—last but NOT LEAST:

42. Escaping

43. Not telling the court that the place benefited them

A girl escaped from the center by jumping out of a second-floor bathroom window at one of the center’s group homes. She was never found, so it was not publicized. Other escapes, where the inmates were found, were publicized.

45. Not answering the staff quickly enough

46. Wrapping their foot around the leg of their chair

47. Stopping their work for more than 10 seconds

48. Getting up out of their seat unauthorized

49. Screaming while being shocked

50. Whispering

51. Slouching

52. Raising their hand

53. Putting their fingers in their ears

54. Involuntary body movements

55. Waving their hands

56. Closing their eyes for more than 15 seconds

57. Attempting to remove electrodes

58. Popping zits

59. Humming

60. Repeating oneself

61. Saying no

62. Interrupting others

63. Crying

64. Clearing their throat

65. Leaving a supervised area without asking

66. Talking to oneself

67. Laughing

Inappropriate” tone of voice

The students who died there were written down to have died of natural causes because they wouldn’t have died if not for their neurological disabilities/differences. So it is okay to torture a person to death because they are disabled/different?

Questions and answers

1. If the treatment is so bad, why does it work?

It doesn’t. It makes them obedient, but it doesn’t change their beliefs. Once the treatment is removed, they start being themselves again. During the treatment, the student has no quality of life because he is unable to express his true self.

2. Why can’t you see that just like everyone else special needs kids need discipline?

You don’t need painful or humiliating punishment for discipline… least of all torture.

3. If the treatment was so bad then why is my kid happy now?

A lot of them are forced to pretend to be happy for the press, the photos on the site, etc. or they will be shocked. Many are also brainwashed into thinking this school is as good as it gets, and that therefore if the place is shut down they will go somewhere worse.

4. Don’t you realize that these kids must be stopped from harming themselves physically at all costs?

You are harming them physically. We know the devices you use on them aren’t the same ones you show the press. We know that students’ punishments were eased up when their court dates neared, as an ex-teacher there admits. Also, even if it was “just” scolding them for self-harm, that is bad too… it takes away one’s self-esteem, thus their quality of life. Which will cause them to either get depressed and self-harm more, or get depressed and have no outlet for it lest they be shocked.

5. Don’t you realize that this treatment is the only language some of our kids understand?

How the hell do you know that? Even The founder of the school admits that in his opinion there is no way to find out what a person’s thoughts and feelings are, and that to him, all that matters is behavior.

6. Don’t you realize that our kids will argue with us until the cows come home, even if they know they’re wrong, because they just find it fun to fight?

How do you know they don’t truly believe in what they say? And even if they don’t, try to find out WHY they like or need to fight.

7. Don’t you realize that it *is* self-harm for the kids to do things that are not socially acceptable because of the ostracism it will cause them?

You are ostracizing them by treating them the way you do, punishing them, singling them out and setting them apart as undesirables. And not everyone lives to be popular. There is so much else worth living for.

8. Don’t you realize that because of number 7, the treatment is necessary?

It’s never necessary… and definitely not because of number 7!

9. Don’t you realize that these parents know what’s best for their kids?

Not all parents even know their kids. Many don’t know what is going on inside their kids’ heads. Tragically, many think NOTHING is going on inside their kids’ heads when their kid is way smarter and more creative and alive than their parents are.

10. Don’t you realize that the judge knows what’s best?

Judges can be naive too, or corrupt… or both, or a little of each.

11. Don’t you realize that the government visited the center and found no evidence of particular abuses you accuse them of?

The government, like the judges, are not immune to corruption, naive assumptions that all is well, or carelessness.

12. Don’t you realize that not all of what they do is abusive BY LAW?

What is legal is not always moral. What is moral is not always legal.

13. Don’t you realize that some of the students actually choose to stay there after they are legally emancipated?

Many of them are not legally emancipated as seems evident. Others are scared they could lose their emancipation and be put back under guardianship if they leave the center before they are discharged. Anyone– their parents, the center, the corrupt doctors and judges– could make a case that they are incompetent and dangerous to themselves and need this treatment and are too incompetent to consent to it. It has happened to people.

14. Don’t you realize that this place would have been closed down if it was really illegal and/or bad?

As I said, judges, inspectors and even activists (whether for the center, or against the center but not doing enough) can be careless, lazy, naive or corrupt. And before places are closed down, they are open. Someone has to take the INITIATIVE to close it down.

15. Don’t you realize that there is not always a way to positively motivate a kid so we sometimes have no CHOICE but to be negative?

That is not true. You must never have despair for someone… it shows, it’s insulting, and therefore it hurts.

16. Don’t you realize that some of the center’s students talk good about the center?

They are forced to using a system of rewards and punishments. Those who ever talk bad about the center are not allowed to talk to the press again.

17. Don’t you realize that many of the parents, teachers, etc talk good about the center?

Parents and teachers, like judges, activists, lawyers, and inspectors, can be corrupt/naive/careless/lazy.

18. Don’t you realize the center made the kids so successful in life?

Successful in a way that benefits THE STUDENT and makes THE STUDENT happy?

Or successful in a way that makes EVERYONE ELSE BUT THE STUDENT happy?

19. Don’t you realize the center made the students more socially acceptable?

See #18.

20. Don’t you realize that the center’s founders, leaders and staff mean well?

In a way, everyone means well. That doesn’t mean they should not be enlightened. And the point of sending your kid to a school is not to help out the people who are trying to make a living by trying to be teachers, but to help the kid learn.

21. Don’t you realize that the center increases quality of life?

It does not. It DECREASES quality of life. Now, instead of dying on their own terms, they die in this hellhole… even if they live to a ripe old age, they live in the hellhole. Being disallowed opportunities to be happy and successful in your own way because you were tapping on a table for a few seconds or fiddling with your pencil for a minute is not quality of life.

22. Don’t you realize that yes we know that even terrorists don’t get this treatment and if they got it to this extent it’d be all over the news and be outrage, but that these students at the center are under medical law, not criminal law, and that therefore it’s okay to treat them the way we do?

Medical law, in many cases, is way more brutal than criminal law. This includes the fact that, on top of all the other reasons it’s more brutal, it sometimes strips you of the right to make some of your own choices that even criminals are allowed to make for themselves… like the right to hire and direct your own independent, unbiased legal counsel. And special needs people are PEOPLE. The school’s answer to this is that “No, they’re not killers, they’re disabled and it’s not their fault.” So then they punish them for being disabled. “They need the punishment.” Then don’t the killers also need the punishment, or rather, don’t their victims need the killers to be punished?

23. Don’t you realize that some students enjoy the center and/or it makes them feel secure?

Maybe some do. Remember Theresienstadt, the concentration camp that was so nice? It was the one the Nazis showed to the Red Cross. The other camps were way more brutal. Theresienstadt was their show camp, their propaganda camp. This school has show students and show classrooms and show residences for this purpose.

24. Don’t you realize that a lot of the students don’t understand what is going on at all because they are so severely retarded, and that therefore the JRC is their only hope?

Firstly, a lot of people are tragically being given less credit for their intelligence than they deserve by people who deserve less credit for their observation abilities than they deserve. Secondly, this school is not a place of hope. Read this whole document and you’ll see why.

25. Don’t you realize these students are just bad and need to be punished for revenge and/or to protect society?

Punishment puts society in danger. Lighting a match to put out a fire is counter-productive. And revenge? Seriously? What did they do? A lot of them just harmed themselves, or property. A lot of them harmed people who might have harmed them but the student might not be verbal enough to tell trusted people what is going on. Or maybe the student didn’t trust anyone to tell them what was going on because they were ALL abusive.

26. Don’t you realize the shock just feels like a bee sting or pinch and doesn’t cause health problems or leave marks?

LIE! The device they show the media is a different device than they use on the students. There are reported, photographed health problems and marks.

27. Don’t you realize the parents and reporters we offered the shock to thought nothing of it, that it was practically painless for them?

See #26. Also, people have different pain thresholds… and different pain tolerances on different parts of their body.

28. Don’t you realize JRC actually HELPS students be freer and more independent in the future?

It encourages them to shut up and be robots, by punishing them for showing any sign they are able to think for themselves. It also plays a nasty trick: It tells you, “Think for yourself! Listen to me instead of to that ignorance in your head.” Things like that. Manipulation. Mind games. Furthermore, they are not encouraging students to be free and independent… one student was forced to stay in restraints wearing diapers when she was both perfectly capable and perfectly nonviolent.

29. If it’s so bad how come more former students haven’t complained about it?

They are either nonverbal, scared of repercussions, too upset to be able to complain properly, too traumatized to want to think about it, or just wanting to get on with their lives.

30. If it’s so bad why didn’t more students run away?

This place had very tight security.

31. If it’s so bad how come more students didn’t tell their parents or the press or the cops?

Parents were brainwashed into thinking that listening to their students’ complaints about the cruelty of the place were nothing but a reward the student hadn’t earned. There was a whole video (which has since been taken down) about this, made by the center.

I explain this more in various answers to questions above. I recommend you read it all.

32. If it’s so bad how come more students didn’t appeal in court or tell the judge while in court what really went on there?

Often they were under guardianships. Often guardianships make the guardian in control of the ward’s right to appeal. So often the ward is not allowed to appeal… or even know that his case is in court! Some students, rumor has it, were threatened with shocks if they did not testify in favor of the center. And often, the student is just there so the judge can look at him in his restraints and go by that.

33. If it’s so bad how come doctors, nurses, neurologists, psychiatrists and psychologists agree with this?

Like any kind of human, they can be corrupt, lazy, naive, greedy (if they are being bribed to turn the other way), or careless.

34. Don’t you realize these kids are being seen and their rights protected by neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, doctors, etc?

See number 33.

35. Don’t you realize some “minor offences” are actually antecedent behaviors for more major offences?

Anything can be an antecedent behavior for anything. Sometimes there are ways of knowing, but if you don’t know for sure and take it literally that NO QUESTIONS ASKED, WHENEVER a student raises his hands he wants to hit himself, you are wrong.

36. Don’t you realize that other people have a different perspective?

Don’t YOU realize that?

37. Don’t you realize that the punishments we use here wouldn’t hurt these students if they were normal?

Less normal doesn’t mean any less worthy of kindness, or any less able to feel pain. They may feel pain from different triggers, but pain it is. And don’t use the “They need to be normal for their own good and this is a last resort” argument. I already dealt with that one. Read it.

38. Wouldn’t you agree that some painful medical procedures are necessary?

They say it is just like any painful medical procedure that is necessary. I say it’s nonsense. When a competent and kind doctor does a painful procedure, he will if necessary give painkillers to the patient. Whereas at the school, the punishment and pain are considered the actual treatment, not side effects to be treated.

39. Recently, the school was banned from using aversives on any new student at their school. This is a great step forward. You can’t do any more. So why do you still complain?

Yes, it’s a great step forward. However, students who were at the school before a certain date still receive the aversives. Is this fair? I think not! Since when does the date one was at a school dictate whether they get tortured or not?


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