Reports have come in that a school has shockingly won a court battle allowing the use of electric shock devices on students in order to control their bad behavior.
The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Massachusetts introduced the practice to deal with aggressive or self-harming behavior in adults and children.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration had banned the use of such electric devices in the past. But, a 2-1 ruling by the US Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit saw the ban overturned.
According to the school's website, it takes on "emotionally disturbed students with conduct, behavior, emotional, and/or psychiatric problems, as well as those with intellectual disabilities or on the autism spectrum."
"With the treatment, these residents can continue to participate in enriching experiences, enjoy visits with their families and, most importantly, live in safety and freedom from self-injurious and aggressive behaviors," Michael Flammia, from law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott, said when speaking to Reuters.
So, in an effort to protect the children from "self-harm", the school has decided their best chance in achieving this is to shock their students electronically.
A statement from the parents read: "We have and will continue to fight to keep our loved ones safe and alive and retain access to this life-saving treatment of last resort."
Senior Circuit Judge David Sentelles said"'use-specific" bans such as this are not appropriate: "The FDA has no authority to choose what medical devices a practitioner should prescribe or administer or for which conditions."
The devices administer a powerful shock to the wearer's skin and are worn twenty-four hours a day.
There are fifty-five of 300 students at the school who have been approved for the electronic decelerator shock devices, with the school being the only one in the U.S to use shock devices on their pupils.
In April, the school argued that it was vital for students who didn't respond to any other kind of treatment. But, back in 2010, a human rights lawyer branded the practice "torture."
Matthew Israel, however, who designed the treatment, said previously that it was an important tool: "The real torture is what these children are subjected to if they don't have this program. They're drugged up to the gills with drugs that cause them to be so sedated that they essentially sleep all day."
Of course, the news has certainly ruffled a few feathers online.
"No way. That would be a cruel and unusual punishment. No child deserves that!" one parent wrote online.
While another said: "God bless America. Home of the 'free' until you don't do as they want you to do. Electric shocking children who clearly need help? My own daughter has the issues mentioned in this article, but no way on this earth would I subject her to this. Some people should not be parents."
People are truly astounded that this "treatment" has been approved: "Surely this isn't real? I thought we had moved away from inhumane treatments to "treat" mental health. This is unbelievable," expressed another.
Let us know what you think.