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Mass. Special Education School Pushes Back On Report Alleging Abuse And Neglect01:55
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An administrative building is seen on the Chamberlain International School's Middleborough campus. The Disability Law Center released a report this week alleging abuse and neglect at the residential facility. (Shannon Dooling/WBUR)
An administrative building is seen on the Chamberlain International School's Middleborough campus. The Disability Law Center released a report this week alleging abuse and neglect at the residential facility. (Shannon Dooling/WBUR)
This article is more than 4 years old.

A private special education school in Middleborough is pushing back on a report released this week alleging abuse and neglect at the residential facility.

The Disability Law Center, a Boston-based nonprofit with federal authority to protect the rights of people with disabilities, released a report on Monday alleging that staff at the Chamberlain International School were neglectful in preventing student suicide attempts and runaways. The report also cited verbal abuse of students by staff.

Eric MacLeish, an attorney for the school, says the report contains misinformation and that the law center was out to embarrass the school.

MacLeish is calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to revoke the law center's authority to conduct such investigations.

"When you have an organization with an advocacy and lobbying agenda that purports to have done an objective investigation, we believe that creates an inherent conflict of interest," MacLeish said. "We're going to be asking for either another nonprofit organization, or another organization within state government, to do the kind of protection and advocacy investigations that are currently entrusted to the DLC."

Gov. Baker says he believes the law center has a long track record of good work and that his office needs more time to review the report before taking any action.

"I think the Disability Law Center is a good organization. I think Chamberlain is also a good school," Baker said Wednesday. "I don't think anybody should draw a lot of conclusions about that until we have a chance to figure out the date specifics associated with some of the allegations and the follow up on that."

In response to MacLeish's claim of bias, the Disability Law Center says it conducted its investigation with no motive or agenda, but rather just followed the evidence.

This segment aired on August 18, 2016.

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