State School Investigation

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During the first part of this year I spent several months researching allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation at state schools. These schools care for those with mental and physical disabilities. Some of the residents have varying degrees of disabilities, but many need around the clock care. Residents come from  families that cannot afford the expensive medical care needed or simply cannot devote the time required. Unfortunately, some of the residents have simply been abandoned. In short, a lot of the residents at these schools cannot care for themselves. During my investigation I found more than 2,000 cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation occurring at these schools in a four year period. In 2006 the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the Lubbock State School. The findings of that investigation were scathing regarding the quality of care. The DOJ then began investigating the Denton State School. A few days after my reports aired the DOJ announced it was investigating all state schools. We got a copy of those findings today. I’ll admit its a lengthy read but one that shows a system in severe need of overhaul. Essentially what the report says is Texas is not meeting minimum care requirements. More specifically, federal investigators cite a lack of care contributing to the deaths of some patients. State Representative Garnet Coleman put a finer point on it, “The state has failed. Texas gets and ‘F’ and if there’s anything lower than an ‘F’ we get that too.” Coleman has been pushing for change for more than a year, even holding a series of hearings and offering several recommendations for areas that could be improved. I’ve got stories running tonight at 6pm and 10pm.  I’ve posted a couple of links to my original stories and the entire DOJ report.

Original Stories: http://www.click2houston.com/news/17233426/detail.html

http://www.click2houston.com/news/17247520/detail.html

U.S. Department of Justice Report: doj-findings-letter-12-1-08

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