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Mar 12,2009
Watchdog: Fight clubs occurring at schools
by UPI

AUSTIN, Texas -- Mentally disabled individuals are being forced to fight one another by staff members at three Texas schools, a watchdog group alleges.

An official with Advocacy Inc., Texas' federally mandated watchdog organization, said staff members at the Mexia and San Angelo state schools in Texas have allegedly been organizing fights between residents during the last six months, The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday.

Advocacy Inc. official Beth Mitchell said the alleged events at the two schools didn't appear as organized as the fights allegedly orchestrated at the Corpus Christi State School. The alleged Corpus Christi fights in 2008 and early 2009 were discovered by police through video clips discovered on a discarded cell phone, the Morning News said.

Several of the employees who are identifiable in the video clips will soon face arrest, police say.

Mitchell appeared to suggest such orchestrated fights are likely not limited to the three schools.

"This is not an isolated problem," Mitchell told the Morning News. "This type of scenario -- with staff egging on client-to-client abuse -- is occurring at other state schools."

Copyright © 2009, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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