Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Disabled Residents Forced to Fight Each Other

Yet more evidence that the Texas state school system is broken beyond repair:

Profoundly disabled residents at the Corpus Christi State School have been forced into "fight club"-style battles by the employees hired to care for them, police alleged Tuesday.

Corpus Christi Police Capt. Tim Wilson said vivid video footage captured on cellphone cameras shows staffers goading young, male state school residents into physical altercations, then shoving them at each other to ensure fights ensue.

The fights are captured on repeated videos filmed during 2007 and 2008 – with one video taken as recently as last month. Wilson said they show "staged events" where residents push, kick and punch each other, then raise their hands in victory when they "win."

Eleven current or former state school employees were identified in the videos.

"Workers were staging fight clubs with the residents for their own entertainment. It's child abuse – some of the worst I've seen in over 30 years," Wilson said. "I've heard of isolated incidents before, but what's most appalling is that it's obvious this is organized."

These incidents were discovered by luck, when police recovered a lost cellphone that recorded images of the residents "fighting." There's no telling how long such treatment went on. The U.S. Department of Justice condemned the Texas state school system as incapable of providing for the basic needs of mentally disabled residents and stories like this make it clear that serious reform is long, long overdue.

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