By an overwhelming majority vote of 318-103, on June 25 the U.S. House
of Representatives passed HR 6358 (previously HR 5876), the Stop Child
Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2008.
This watershed legislation will enact necessary reforms intended to
stop the abuse and torture of young people in behavior modification
facilities, or gulag schools, throughout the country. It will prohibit
the all-too-common physical, sexual, or psychological abuse of teens
by facility staff. It will require that young people held in these
facilities have access to food, water, shelter, clothing, medical
care, and a telephone. It will restrict the use of physical
restraints, require inspections of residential treatment centers, and
And it passed by greater than a three fourths majority, more than
veto-proof. This vital, common-sense bill garnered strong bipartisan
support, earning the votes of 229 Democrats and 89 Republicans.
Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle listened to the voices
of victims of behavior modification facilities and boot camps, and of
their constituents, including hundreds of NYRA members from across the
country who wrote and called their representatives and made their
But the fight for justice is not over yet. This long-overdue
legislation still does not yet have a sponsor in the Senate. The bill
must still pass the Senate before it can be sent to President Bush for
his signature. You can help by writing or calling your senators and
urging them to introduce the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs
for Teens Act of 2008 in the Senate. To find and write your senators, go here.