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Jul 25,2007
Mentally retarded abused in Texas
by UPI

AUSTIN, Texas -- Hundreds of mentally retarded children and adults living in Texas state schools were routinely abused, neglected and humiliated, it was reported Tuesday.

The abuse is documented in employee records ordered released by the Texas attorney general, The San Antonio (Texas) Express-News reported.

Nearly 300 cases of abuse and neglect were confirmed during each of the last two fiscal years and some of the offending employees were allowed to keep their jobs, The Express-News reported.

Some employees of the 13 state-run schools routinely pushed, hit, kicked, and dragged residents with one of the worst cases occurring in 2005 when a caretaker at Brenham State School assaulted a resident hard enough to crack three ribs and lacerate the resident's liver, the newspaper reported.

The abuse is part of an ongoing investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights division.

Texas Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso, blamed the abuse on deep state budget cuts in 2003. Shapleigh said he hoped the abuse would end with this year's budget increase for more staff and improved training.

"Clearly, I can't predict whether it'll be enough," Shapleigh said.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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