National Disability Rights Network Report- School Is Not Supposed to Hurt




Abbie was Restrained 14 times in one day for noncompliance issues




NAA: The Restraint and Prevention Symposium


Man Arrested For Abusing His Autistic Son


The abuse of children at the hands of school personnel has risen over the last two decades and the nation is outraged. The children most likely to be abused are children with disabilities. Children who are poor and homeless are not excluded from the abuse.

The abuse presents itself in various forms -restraints, seclusion, suffocation, and sometimes even death. Last year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation found hundreds of allegations that children have been abused and some have died as a result of the misuses of restraints and seclusion in public and private schools, often by untrained staff. United States representatives George Miller and Cathy McMorris Rodgers introduced the "Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in School Act" (HR 4247) and senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut introduced it's sister bill, (S. 2860). This legislation is the first national effort to address the problem and ensure the safety of students and school staff.

The abuse of a child in school can easily escalate into retaliation against the parent(s), caretaker(s), or advocate. Retaliation can include the denial educational services, the denial of a child to attend school, an illegal eviction from your residence, neglect and abuse charges filed against you by the school, a loss of employment, removal of the child from the caretaker by child protective services, false charges against the parent, caregiver, or advocate that can lead to an arrest, etc.

We must stop asking, "What are they (everyone else) going to do about the abuse of our nation's children?" While the rest of America sits blind, not necessarily their fault, they are under the assumption that their tax dollars are paying for an education without abuse, restraints, seclusion, or retaliation. American citizens believe that when they send their children to school, they will be safe, not abused or killed by school personnel.

It is our belief that all children are entitled to a free, appropriate, and SAFE education in the public and private school system, as specified under IDEA. We need your support in effecting change within the system.

Thank you!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


In Memory Of The Children & Staff Of Sandy Hook Elementary School With Condolences To Their Family And Friends

 By Pearl H. Jacobowitz
      Gunshots rang out on December 14, 2012, 11 days before Christmas, at Sandy Hook Elementary School; leaving 20 students and 6 staff members deceased.  The shooter was 20 year old Adam Lanza.

      As we drove through Newtown, Connecticut on Thursday, December 20th, we were greeted by memorials of candles, flowers, teddy bears, and letters, as they lined the sidewalks of main street. Long lines of people, dressed in black, waiting to pay their respects to the victims of the 12/14 tragedy.  The town was very quiet and solemn as the night began to settle in.
     RI Families Against Restraint and Seclusion presented Mrs. Karen Pierce, the Board of Managers, with two baskets of trinkets for the children, at the Edmond Town Hall .   The Edmond Town Hall was surrounded by candlelight, cards, and flowers in remembrance of the victims.  Mrs. Pierce led us to the auditorium and asked each of us to echo our name; she said that you become a part of the building's history when you echo your name.  Many programs, such as, movies are held for the community at the town hall. 

As we echoed our names, we thought of all of the children and staff members of Sandy Hook Elementary School who echoed their names and are now a part of history.  The key is to never forget such a tragedy and try each day to make life better for yourself and others.


By Dakota, Arizona, & Montana Jacobowitz 

Send A Little Trinket or Two,

In Memory of children you Never Knew & always knew.

They Will Be Missed Each and Every day,

Be Kind & Show Compassion In All That You Say.

A Pawprint In The Sand Or Sky,

Whatever I Do, I Will Magnify.

If I Am Here for A Second, A Minute, Or Two,

I Made My PawPrint-Just For You.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


By Irwin Jacobowitz
Coventry Rape Suspect Appears in Court
Photo displayed on by Shaun Towne) 
J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center, president and CEO, Donald Armstrong, announced last month that three year Trudeau employee, Derek Wilson, 41, was indicted and arraigned on one account of 1st degree sexual assault that allegedly took place in late July of this year at Trudeau’s Adult Day Program. 

      Trudeau also administers early intervention, Crayons Early Care & Education Center, Inc., Pathways Strategic Teaching Center in Coventry, and the Children’s Recreation Program.  Derek has been suspended and has had no access to Trudeau’s building facilities.  According to WPRI, Wilson was a truck driver for the Trudeau Center in Warwick, which helps individuals with disabilities. The alleged assault took place at the center's satellite location, the Patterson Building, back in July.

     The Trudeau Center has provided services to individuals with developmental disabilities in Rhode Island since 1963.  Trudeau has cooperated with the Warwick police.

Read More:


McDonalds Manager Punches Mother Over Autism Service Dog

By Dakota Jacobowitz
(Photo in report by Kristina Chew)
   There have been several incidences in which service dog owners have been harassed by business establishments.

 Life with Dogs reported that an Albuquerque Hooters restaurant refused to serve Justin Jordan, an Air Force Master Sergeant that suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  Service dog, Dallas, assists Jordan with going out into the public.  Although, Jordan showed proof that Dallas was a service dog, the restaurant manager called the police to remove Jordan and Dallas from the restaurant.  After the police sided with Jordan, the restaurant manager would not serve him.  According to the New Have Register, Air Force veteran Kim Mucha was told that she would be arrested for trespassing if she returns to the Big Y Supermarket in North Haven, CT, after her service dog, Ivy, defecated.  Mucha noted that she immediately cleaned up after Ivy. 

     WSBTV reports that on July 12, Jennifer Schwenker, a mother of two autistic boys was punched in her face by the off duty manager, Tiffany Denise Allen, in Marietta, Georgia.  Why? Because Jennifer Schwenker,  had brought her twin boys and their service dog, Barkley, to the McDonalds.  As the Schwenker family was about to leave the McDonalds restaurant, Allen told them that the dog was not allowed in McDonalds.  Schwenker explained that Barkley was a service dog for her two children and offered to show a permit.  Allen followed Schwenker and her family to the restroom.  When Schwenker was leaving, she lost sight of one of her sons and panicked.  During her panic, she dropped her drink, splashing Allen.  This sent Allen into a rage, causing her to run out to Schwenker, in a rage, and punch her in the face.

Under federal law, service dogs are allowed in public places such as restaurants.


Marietta police Detective Gwen Lewis told Davis that she has never seen anything like it.Schwenker did not want to speak to Davis about the incident, but her husband said they are talking to a lawyer.  Allen is charged with battery assault and disorderly conduct. The owners of the store said they are “fully cooperating with the police department in their investigation” and have terminated Allen, who has also been issued an arrest warrant.

Allen’s behavior was certainly extreme. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one who has — in contradiction to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) — said that service dogs are not allowed in restaurants, grocery stores and other places.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Several clients write to us in search of professionals that can assist their child(ren) achieve to the best of their abilities and beyond. Their complaints are that attorneys and advocates attend meetings, such as, IEP meetings and negotiate in the best interest of the school district, thus forgetting about their child(ren). In other words, they are sold out for a cheap price, at the expense of their child(ren)’ s education. We have attended several meetings in which attorneys, advocates, psychologists, CEDARR representatives, counselors and so forth, who either could have been considered invisible or in opposition with the parents. Recently, it came to our attention that several satellite centers of Hasbro Hospital will not provide rehabilitation services for children with autism if the child exhibits any form of aggressive behaviors. So, what this means is that services that will assist your child, such as, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech, auditory, etc. are not available due to your child(ren) displaying aggressive behaviors related to their diagnosis of autism. We are seeking dedicated and experienced professionals that will work in the best interest of the child(ren) so that they can achieve their potential. Professionals, that have the children at heart and not concerned with satisfying the school district by saving them money. When an inquiry is made, we will provide your information. Professionals are sought in the following areas, but not limited to- Attorneys, Advocates, BCBA-Behavioral Specialists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech Therapists, Psychologists, Psychiatrist, Teachers, HBTS/PASS workers, Mental Health Counselors, and Service Dog Trainers….


One common fear of Parents with a child(ren) on the Spectrum is the “Police.” By Pearl H. Jacobowitz
The Police who are there to protect your child may turn out to be his or her worst nightmare if they are not educated about autism and does not receive sensitivity training. As the child, diagnosed with autism gets older, they may look much older than they truly are; which could result in tragic experiences. When I did my internship for my Master’s degree in Special Education, my preceptor, Carol, told me that she feared for one of her students, because of his large size, his lack of receptive and expressive communication skills, and his decreased cognitive awareness. My three children were small at the time so I could not quite understand, now that they have grown, I can empathize with her. On July 12, 2012, the temperature must have hit a record 100 degrees, and we had just arrived in Seekonk, MA. from URI in North Kingston, RI. Throughout the trip, the children were arguing and if you ever experienced two children on the spectrum in an argument or confrontation, it is truly an experience. When we reached the Dollar Tree in Seekonk, MA., what might have turned out to be a quick stop at the store turned into a tragedy. As Parents, we attempt to keep peace between siblings and settle disputes as quick as possible. Sometimes, mediation can turn into a power play in which the Parents are giving commands and the child(ren) are defiant and refuse to adhere. The incident got out of hand when our 14 year old son would not get out of the car and take a walk and dad started pulling on him to get him out of the car. It led to our 14 year old throwing objects at his dad that were in the car and dad taking off his belt and striking our son . This was the first time dad has ever allowed himself to be pushed to that extent and with the utmost regrets. No one benefited from the incident, only regretted it. Kenneth Monroe of Warren, RI., observed the confrontation between our 14 year old son and his dad and called the Seekonk, MA. Police Department and reported father was striking his son. When Sargent M. Jardine arrived on the scene, he approached my husband as though he was going to arrest him. Police officer, Jamie R. Benker, # 2212, and Officer Christopher R. Kelly, #1266, approached with the witnesses, Kenneth Monroe of Warren, RI and companion, and said that they received a report of a father beating his son. Our 14 year old son stepped out of our van and was immediately tackled down to the ground from behind by 3 Seekonk Police Officers as if they were at a football game. The Police officers wrestled him into handcuffs, while tazering him at the same time. If you have ever seen a person electrocuted or struck by lightning, you would notice thick white sputum in their mouth; it was asthough our son was foaming from his mouth. Never did the Police ask him any questions or give him any commands. The Police only saw his size and skin color. Due to our son’s past experience of being assaulted by the Police, his PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) returned at that moment. As he was handcuffed and tazered, I watched him return back to 2008 in Dartmouth, MA., where he was abused by the Dartmouth Police. Each Police officer he saw, he yelled “McGuire.” My son requested that they call officer Tim Oser of the Barrington Police Department in Barringon, RI, who responded by driving to Seekonk, MA. to assist our son. What was odd to me is that the initial report was that a father was striking his son. Then why did they just tackle a 14 year old boy who just stepped out of his van who was reported as being the victim? The Seekonk Police blamed us for not telling them that our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. When were we supposed to tell them? As they were tackling him to the ground? The ironic part is that they tackled him to the ground and asked questions after. Sherry, an employee at Family Dollar, stated, “ This is not the first time the Seekonk Police have done this, they beat an autistic boy before and shot a deaf boy who could not hear them.” Sadly, most Police reports will never be written as they actually happened due to Police liability. Police Officer Jamie R. Benker’s report stated, “…[A] large male exited the vehicle yelled “Get away from my dad!” and put both of his hands up in a boxing fighting style. The male who now had his fists balled in a fighting style kicked off one of his sneakers and started to approach officer Kelly with his fists…he was over 200 pounds, nearly 6’00 tall.” Officer Christopher R. Kelly’s report stated, “...[H]e stood in a fighting stance, with his fists up in front of his face…I removed my Department issued ECD from the holster and pointed the red laser dot at the combatant’s chest…Officer Benker took …to the ground in an attempt to diffuse the situation…I then turned my Department issued ECD off and placed it back in the holster.” A report was never taken from the witnesses at the Dollar Tree by the Seekonk Police, because they had a different version of what happened. Many things can be said about this incident, one, is Parents never allow your emotions to get the best of you in situations like this when siblings have confrontations, especially in public. Second, Police need better training on Autism and other special needs and need to be held accountable for their actions. Our son never assumed a boxer’s fighting pose, nor held his fists up in front of his face, nor did he approach any officer with raised fists. Officer Christopher R. Kelly, reports that he removed his ECD (Tazer) from his holster, but he doesn’t state in his report that he ever used it. Witnesses saw the ECD used by officer Kelly and our son had foaming of the mouth after being tazered. We must continue to advocate for more training of Police Officers and other professionals. We must hold officers accountable when they abuse one of our children, whether from malice or ignorance. Most certainly, Parents are held accountable to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families and scrutinized for their parenting skills, so should Police Officers.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mom of former student sues Judge Rotenberg Center

DEDHAM, Mass. (WHDH). According to WHDH, Cheryl McCollins, the mother of a teen who received controversial electro-shock treatment at the Judge Rotenberg Center 10 years ago, is suing three workers and the center itself.

In October of 2002, Andre McCollins, 18, received painful shock treatments the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton. Andre McCollins was described as autistic and mildly retarded at the time of his treatment.

Shocking evidence was revealed in a Dedham courtroom on Wednesday. A video showed Andre McCollins at the center -- for people with behavioral disorders -- screaming in pain and begging for help while apparently receiving electro-shock treatment.

Testimony will continue on Thursday.

Read more:



Last month, we received an email from Zoe Gross at ASAN, which focused on the death of George Hodgins. George Hodgins was a 22 year old male diagnosed with autism and regretably murdered by his mother on March 6, 2012. A candle light vigil was held for George Hodgins and others that fell to family violence.

Many community leaders were outraged that sympathy poured for George's mother ("the killer") and not for the victim due to his different abilities.

Zoe assisted in organizing a vigil for George and others, such as, Tracey Latimer, who was murdered by her father in 1993. Zoe expressed that Tracey's father was speaking on a television panel for the Canadian Global News, arguing for legalizing the killing of disabled people - in the name of "mercy." (ASAN)

Zoe expressed one sentiment that we wholeheartedly agree with, the murder of a person with a different ability does not weigh in as much as a person without one. If this is not correct, then think about this for a moment, how many school officials have been held accountable for abusing or murdering students via restraints or other forms of abuse. The answer is NOT MANY. Courts, administrative agencies allow them to murder and mame and then freely walk away. We also believe that people with different abilities should live a life free of violence.

It is important to memoralize those that has passed away due to violence, but to also try to find ways to prevent the violence. Parents of children with special needs find it very difficult at times to cope with the stress of finances, family, finding safe and appropriate educational facilities, health insurance, medical and psychological support, assistive services, etc. For example, in Rhode Island the Department of Human Services authorizes and funds an agency called CEDARR to provide Respite, PASS, and HBTS services to families. Through these services, parents are provided assistants to help them with their child(ren) with special needs, except there are obstacles: the workers are not experienced with children with autism, the parents have to wait month after month, the provider agency may not accept your child due to inappropriate behaviors or whatever reason they decide, the agency may be biased, etc. In one instance, CEDARR staff, reported parents to DCYF for not providing their child with appropriate HBTS and PASS services, but failed to tell DCYF that the agencies did not have workers available. It is difficult for parents to find attorneys or afford attorneys to represent their cases.

We can keep pointing fingers at the parents of children with special needs, but it would be more beneficial to assist them before it gets to violence. True advocates know the difficulty of advocating for services through the court system, state agencies, private agencie, schools, and so forth. Many advocates lobby congress. Well, you have many parents that do not have the knowledge to proceedm that's where advocates can help direct them. So, the next time we are ready to point our finger and blame the parent for not doing something "right", help them instead. It seems much easier to blame an individual, rather than an agency that failed to perform its' duties.

Both George and his mom were victims, they both needed help, but didn't receive it.

Advocates, we can help now!!!

In memory of George and the other fallen children,rather than assigning blame, let us focus on what we can do to assist parents acquire the services their children and family desperately needs.


(Why Haven’t We Learned From The Walter E. Fernald State School?)
by Pearl and Irwin Jacobowitz, April 12, 2012.

Millions of Massachusetts residents living alongside the Rottenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts, either feel powerless to make a change and rid their state of this atrocity, feel that it’s a good thing, profit from it, or simply just don’t give a damn. Wendy Fournier hit it right on the nose when she asked, “What the Hell is wrong with Massachusetts? In turn, we ask, Massachusetts! Is there anybody out there?

We ran an article several months ago that discussed the history of the Rottenberg Center and their methods of torture. Sad to say, Massachusetts has a sorted history of schools of torture (similar to other states); lets not forget The Walter E. Fernald State School, now the Walter E. Fernald Developmental Center, located in Waltham, Massachusetts.

The Fernald Center, was originally known as the Massachusetts School for Idiotic Children, was founded by reformer Samuel Gridley Howe in 1848 with a $2,500 appropriation from the Massachusetts State Legislature. Several reports of physical and sexual abuse swarmed the facility. In the 1970s, a class action suit, Ricci v. Okin, was filed to upgrade conditions at Fernald and several other state institutions for persons with mental retardation in Massachusetts.

The Fernald School was the site of the 1946–53 joint experiments by Harvard University and MIT that exposed young male children to tracer doses of radioactive isotopes. Documents obtained in 1994 by the United States Department of Energy revealed the following details: • The experiment was conducted in part by a research fellow sponsored by the Quaker Oats Company. • MIT Professor of Nutrition Robert S. Harris led the experiment, which studied the absorption of calcium and iron. • The boys were encouraged to join a "Science Club", which offered larger portions of food, parties, and trips to Boston Red Sox baseball games. • The 57 club members ate iron-enriched cereals and calcium-enriched milk for breakfast. In order to track absorption, several radioactive calcium tracers were given orally or intravenously. • Radiation levels in stool and blood samples would serve as dependent variables. • In another study, 17 subjects received iron supplement shots containing radioisotopes or iron. • Neither the children nor their parents ever gave adequate informed consent for participation in a scientific study.

The Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, reporting to the United States Department of Energy in 1994, reported on these experiments: In 1946, one study exposed seventeen subjects to radioactive iron. The second study, which involved a series of seventeen related sub-experiments, exposed fifty-seven subjects to radioactive calcium between 1950 and 1953. It is clear that the doses involved were low and that it is extremely unlikely that any of the children who were used as subjects were harmed as a consequence. These studies remain morally troubling, however, for several reasons. First, although parents or guardians were asked for their permission to have their children involved in the research, the available evidence suggests that the information provided was, at best, incomplete. Second, there is the question of the fairness of selecting institutionalized children at all, children whose life circumstances were by any standard already heavily burdened.

The buildings and grounds survive as a center for mentally disabled adults, operated by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation. According to a December 13, 2004 article in the Boston Globe, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney announced in 2003 that the facility would be closed and the land sold by 2007. In 2003, a coalition of family advocates and state employee unions began a campaign to save Fernald. Since 2007, Deval Patrick’s administration, has declined to negotiate with those Fernald advocates, and has pressed ahead with its appeal and closure plans. (Wikepedia, February 22, 2012)

Remember America, it is your taxes that supports these institutions of terror. Don’t you even care how your money is spent or do you like throwing it out the window? This kind of torture and abuse brings to mind slavery and the holocaust, because for so many years people stood by and watched while the torture took place. In all fairness, we believe that the public should see how their money is spent: Click on this site and view the video: