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Did You Know Ohio Schools Have Seclusion Rooms?

Posted by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 8:00 AM
  • 17 Replies

Four years ago, a troubled seventeen year old girl died after being pinned face down to the floor by her caretakers in home for troubled kids. This started a firestorm of outrage and ended up revealing to unknowing parents that Ohio schools had what are called "seclusion rooms".  They are used to contain kids who are "out of control" and pose "a physical threat" at school.  Using this definition it may seem that these rooms serve a purpose to protect everyone until further action can be determined. However the Columbus Dispatch and StateImpact Ohio collaborated recently to investigate with Ohio Public Radio and they found that these seclusion rooms are being used without regulation all over the state. And further, as reported in The Columbus Dispatch,

"No law governs seclusion rooms, and the Ohio Department of Education has provided little guidance and virtually no oversight to schools. The department has no idea which districts have seclusion rooms because it has not asked. It does not know how often vulnerable children are locked alone in rooms and does not intend to tell schools to stop doing it.

Sometimes, even parents don't know when it happens to their children.

"They never mentioned seclusion rooms. I don't think they ever wanted anyone to know they existed," said Rosemary Crum, whose son is an adult now and graduated from Pickerington schools. She learned of her son's seclusion when another mother told her.

"I worry that there are other kids it's happening to, too," Crum said.

School districts say that seclusion already is a last-resort safety measure. But districts' own records show that many isolate special-needs students for being difficult, disruptive or noncompliant"

 

This horrifies me. My son is considered "special needs" and the idea that he could be locked away in a glorified closet for having a meltdown, which is common with sensory kids, scares the crap out of me. It would scar him terribly to be isolated and I can only imagine the scars it has left on the children punished this way. The state tells parents that their kids with special needs will be educated by teachers and staff who are equipped to handle their needs and behaviors. In fact, it's the law. There is so much evidence that these seclusion rooms are harmful for kids. And my heart breaks thinking about the fear a disabled child may experience suffering alone in a room not knowing when or who will come and get them. The reality that there is no policy or any regulations in place to oversee this is just wrong.

 

Have you heard of seclusion rooms before now?  How would you handle finding out your child had been isolated? 


© iStockphoto.com/[ MoMorad]

by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 8:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
angieluvsolivia
by Angie on Sep. 10, 2012 at 9:43 AM

 I've only heard of them for kids that are sick, contagious.  Hmmm.....I hope my kids would never get to that point but, if they did I would rather they be put in a room then have anyone put their hands on my kids. 

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by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 10:15 AM

No I havent

Boobah
by Bronze Member on Sep. 10, 2012 at 11:33 AM
1 mom liked this

I know they have been used for way more than severe cases.  And it makes me sick.  This is one of a million reasons why we homeschool.  When my daughter was in kindergarten, they used to isolate her by sending her to the hall by herself for the entire class period.  A KINDERGARTENER!  Why? Because she cried when she didn't understand something and no one would help her.  

TheFamilyPants
by Member on Sep. 10, 2012 at 4:14 PM


Quoting Boobah:

I know they have been used for way more than severe cases.  And it makes me sick.  This is one of a million reasons why we homeschool.  When my daughter was in kindergarten, they used to isolate her by sending her to the hall by herself for the entire class period.  A KINDERGARTENER!  Why? Because she cried when she didn't understand something and no one would help her.  

This just breaks my heart :( I'm so sorry that happened to your baby.

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runner426
by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 4:14 PM

I didn't know about them. Thanks for sharing!

mem82
by Representative on Sep. 10, 2012 at 4:15 PM
1 mom liked this

One more reason to homeschool.

horseap
by Alysha on Sep. 10, 2012 at 4:53 PM
1 mom liked this

 SOOO the girl died in a home correct NOT a school because thats what the story says.  ANYWAY!  Yes I did know they exist and my old school had one.  I was in it.  Ours was a room in the middle of the building inside the office about 10 x6 and it had another room off of it about 7x4.  No window but the one that looked into the other room.  The smaller room was more like a bathroom with a bed and its where you went if you were sick but you could lock the doors and open the window to see into the bigger room vice versa.  Its where kids went if they got into a fight and needed to calm down(most of the time wait till the police got there.  I honestly cant believe people are shocked by such rooms.   Its exactly like angieluvsolivia said would you rather a potential menace walking around and cause possible harm to others than have a spot to keep someone where they cant cause damage.  AND if you dont trust your teachers and facility members with having such a room in school I think there is a bigger problem than having that room in your school.



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DirtyHippyMama
by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 7:28 PM

 That is horrid :(

Quoting Boobah:

I know they have been used for way more than severe cases.  And it makes me sick.  This is one of a million reasons why we homeschool.  When my daughter was in kindergarten, they used to isolate her by sending her to the hall by herself for the entire class period.  A KINDERGARTENER!  Why? Because she cried when she didn't understand something and no one would help her.  

 

DirtyHippyMama
by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 7:29 PM

 True!

Quoting mem82:

One more reason to homeschool.

 

DirtyHippyMama
by on Sep. 10, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Hadn't heard of them.

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