1 Comments Posted by isabeats[

Since I have been one of those staff working in a room with 30-40 severely and profoundly retarded men at a state institution, I'd like to throw in my two cents. There are two sides to this story. Lynn, you seem to be speaking up for those staff who cared and tried to do the right thing. And Jodi and Dannie Girl, you seem to be speaking about cruel, even abusive staff. BOTH of these sides exist. In K Building, we had some staff who did their very best for the men they worked with. In my case, I used to take the most nervous, high-strung guys out for walks, so they'd have some peace and quiet and privacy. Other staff did similar things, because they cared. Yet I was openly mocked for taking people out and treating them as individuals. There were all kinds of cruelty in K Building, some perhaps unintentional, but others definately intentional. And if you dared to report even acts of open abuse, you were then targeted and lied about, thus weakening your believability, or even ruining your reputation. Time after time I saw staff transferred or even fired because they spoke up about cruelty. I grew up in Belchertown (the town) and when I went to work at K Building at Belchertown State School, two of my high school's worst bullies had graduated and found jobs at K Building. I also know, from personal experience, that management knew of abuse and looked the other way and rarely helped those brave enough to speak up. In fact, the only times I saw management take a strong stand was when a profoundly retarded woman in an all-female building became pregnant, and when another woman drowned in a bath-tub and staff who were supposed to be monitoring her ward dried her body off with a towel and put her in bed to make it look she had died in her sleep. Both of these situations were not the kind that would have been easy to cover up. These things DID and DO happen. Yes, there are good staff, but we need to know that there are also abusive staff; yes, there are abusive staff. but we also need to know there are good staff. I believe both sides in this discussion need to accept the reality of BOTH sides.