- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (AP) - The Latest on School Abuse Allegations (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

A lawyer for a Berkshire County school for boys with autism and behavioral disorders is defending the school after five staff members were charged in an investigation into the abuse of students.

The five Eagleton School staffers were arrested last weekend and released on personal recognizance. Four face charges that include assault and battery on a disabled person. A fifth faces witness intimidation and obstruction of justice charges.

School attorney Eric MacLeish said Wednesday that no adverse regulatory action has been taken against the school and students are participating in their regular programs. He would not comment on the employees charged, but said there is “no systemic abuse” at Eagleton.

Administrators and parents have scheduled a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless did not immediately return a call.

7 a.m.

People associated with a Berkshire County school for boys with autism and behavioral disorders are speaking out for the first time since five staff members were charged with abusing students.

Administrators and parents of some students at the Eagleton School in Great Barrington have scheduled a news conference for Wednesday afternoon.

The five staffers were arrested last weekend and released on personal recognizance at their arraignments. They face several charges including assault and battery on a disabled person.

Eagleton founder and executive director Bruce Bona said in a statement he is “disheartened and very concerned that the actions of our staff have come under question.”

The school remains open following visits by two state education regulatory agencies. No adverse regulatory action has been taken against the school.


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