On June 24, as the U.S. House of Representatives was debating the Stop
Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2008, which later
passed overwhelmingly, members of NYRA’s District of Columbia chapter
attended a hearing before the DC City Council about the rampant abuses
in behavior modification facilities.

The City Council is considering Bill 17-0654, the Protection of Students with
Disabilities Amendment Act of 2008, which would prohibit the District
from sending young people to residential programs that use “aversive
methods” such as electric shock, food and water deprivation, forced
exercise, and more.

Several NYRA members testified before the Council, and the only person
offering testimony that day who knows what it is like to go through a
behavior modification program from personal experience was a NYRA
member. At NYRA, we believe strongly that the views of young people
who have been subjected to these programs need to be represented. We
encourage all members who are DC residents to contact the City Council
and tell them to support the Protection of Students with Disabilities
Amendment Act of 2008. Tell them why. It’s time for government to
listen.