Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Torture Is Not Treatment

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.
— W.H. Auden.
So let me get this straight. A sadist invents a powerful electric shock device to strap on the backs of children, then he opens a school where he's allowed to use the device on autistic, mentally retarded, and emotionally troubled kids, thus creating an environment of constant pain and anxiety.

And no, I'm not talking about some kind of Victorian era insane asylum. I'm not talking about Soviet era brainwashing. I'm talking about public funded education in the USA right now at the Judge Rotenberg Center.

And the torture doesn't end at painful shocks for minor acts of noncooperation. A recent report submitted to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture also revealed the use of restraint boards, isolation, and food deprivation in efforts to control the behaviors of the school's vulnerable students.

The UN Convention against Torture requires each government party to the convention "to ensure that all acts of torture are offenses under its criminal law." Unfortunately, we've been ignoring that quaint little treaty for far too long.

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