A decades-long fight over an electric shock treatment led to an FDA ban. But the fight is far from over.

“What they’re doing is just taking people that have issues and just building more,” said Rico Torres, who was first shocked at eight years old.

NBC News

By Cynthia McFadden, Kevin Monahan and Adiel Kaplan
The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Mass. is thought to be the only place in the world that uses electric shocks to modify behavior.NBC News; AP; Getty Images Via: NBC News

Rico Torres was just eight the first time school staffers strapped electrodes to his legs and shocked him. They draped a 12-volt battery over his shoulders in a backpack, while a nearby teacher held a clear plastic box with a photo of his face attached. When Torres misbehaved, the teacher would reach inside the box and push a button that sent a two-second jolt of electricity coursing through his body.

Under his court-approved treatment plan, Torres could be shocked for threatening to hit another student or for running away, swearing or screaming, refusing to follow directions or "inappropriate urination," according to court records obtained by NBC News. One employee, he said, used to shock him in his sleep.

Publish : 2021-05-02 08:12:00

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