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Easthampton, MA: SPED school is closed because of abuse/neglect

Aug 2, 2018, Western Mass News: Report: abuse and neglect found at Easthampton special education school An Easthampton special education school will close for about a year following an investigation into reports of abuse and neglect. The Disability Law Center (DLC) said Thursday that Tri-County Schools - which is a private, day special education school run by the Northeast Center for Youth and Families - will undergo that closure "to reassess and reopen the school’s operation with a focus on a trauma-informed care model." The DLC reviewed complaints about the treatment of students with disabilities that they received early this spring. They then examined the records of three students, restraint video, records from Mass. DCF and Easthampton Police, and interviewed 19 parents. … The agency said that their investigation found that staff "engaged in abuse by repeatedly using excessive force in restraints and engaging in improper time-out and disciplinary practices."… According to the DLC, two parents told them that their children were each restrained either daily or nearly daily and that they both came home with external injuries - one with bruises and the other with bruises and scrapes…. In one instance, school staff called police reporting a student-on-student fight. However, once on-scene, police didn't find a fight, but rather three students who tried repeatedly to escape restraints that had been "improperly administered."…

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