HOLYOKE >> A report by an advocacy group alleges that students at a Holyoke school for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities were abused by staff.

The Disability Law Center's report released Wednesday alleges that students at the William Peck School were slapped, punched, shoved, restrained for long periods of time and even placed in dark, locked closets. The report said the treatment often led to bruises and scratches on the children.

The public school serves students in fourth- through eighth-grade.

The center opened the investigation in April after receiving a complaint about possible abuse.

Mayor Alex Morse said he was "outraged by these allegations."

Local and state education officials say changes are already being made. The school has hired a new principal and a private company to run the program.