Last week, SEIU Local 509 provided testimony to the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Disabilities opposing the use of aversives behavioral interventions or “skin shock . There has been much public controversy over the Judge Rotenberg Centers use of electric shock as a form of punishment to some autistic, retarded, and emotionally troubled students. The 509 membership attested to having extensive experience successfully working with individuals with severe behavioral disabilities through positive behavioral interventions without the need to resort to inhumane measures. SEIU 509 strongly opposed this punishment and joined in spirit with the United Nations, the Department of Justice, and the Attorney General, just to name a few, who have taken a strong position against the JRC’s use of skin shock. The Local 509 stands strong in hope that soon the state will fully utilize positive behavioral supports and fully prohibit the use of skin shock.
You can download the letter from SEIU Local 509 President Susan Tousignant here.
In addition to this new rule, Representative Tom Sannicandro has introduced legislation banning the use of aversives and shock therapy in MA.
Below are links letters from other organization SEIU Local 509 joins in support of the new rule eliminating the use of aversives.