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‘Isolation box:’ Abuse or therapy for Longview school kids? (with video)
LONGVIEW, Wash. — Longview Public Schools administrators call it an “isolation booth” and photos of it are creating a Facebook firestorm.
Some parents say they’re worried kids are being abused when they’re locked inside it at school.
The isolation booth has been at Mint Valley Elementary School for the past four years. That’s because the school hosts a special education program for disabled students with behavioral issues. The booth is used to calm down some of the students when they’re at risk of hurting themselves or others.
Just hours after they were posted, photos of the isolation booth were shared on Facebook about 100 times.
The pictures show that from the outside, the booth is located in a storage area and has two peepholes at different heights. Inside, students can sit on the floor of the small padded room, and the ceiling has air holes for ventilation.
The original Facebook poster, Ana Bate, a Longview mother, criticized its use as abusive, arguing children are locked in for crying or tapping on their desks.
Comments echoed by other Facebook posters like Darren Pirtle asked “seriously ... have the police been notified that this is being used??”
Marcy Brinkerhoff-Hogg wrote, “that is terrible and should NEVER be used regardless if the child is out of control or not.”
And Jena Raelyn Brown suggested, writing in all capital letters: “if a parent did that at home they would get put in jail!!!”
Bate, whose 10-year-old son is not in the special education program, told KATU News late Tuesday night that her son told her he saw several kids go in the box.
In one instance, a female aide came up behind a boy, picked him up off the floor and dropped him into the isolation box, she said. He landed on the floor and cried the entire time. In another instance a boy, who was placed inside the box for lifting up a desk, became violent while he was inside.
“My question for the school district is how is that therapeutic if not directly opposite from this supposed reinforcement they’d like everybody to believe it to be?” she said. “If they are being paid to lock people up, get extra education and work in mental health or psychiatric units, not with children that have minds that need to be explored, need to be expanded, that need to feel safe.”
But the district does not think it is abusive.
“People have their own opinions without having a lot of the information about it. I would not classify it as abusive,” said Sandy Catt, director of communications for Longview Public Schools.
Catt said the isolation booth is designed as therapy for children needing to calm down.
Of the 6,500 students in the Longview School District, only eight or nine are allowed to go inside, and that’s because the school has permission from their parents.
“It is concerning to us that there may not be a complete understanding of the situation,” Catt said.
She said some of the eight or nine kids voluntarily go inside the booth for a break from stimulation. She added when the door is locked a school staff member is outside, monitoring what happens.
Catt said the school district had never received a complaint about the isolation booth until Tuesday, and still, none of those complaints has come from parents whose students went inside.
And for those parents who object, their students would never be placed inside because the district requires parent permission. Bate told KATU News she questions parents who agree to let their kids go inside the box.
They just happened to have a padded room available did they?
The kid spent ONE HOUR in a small room with the door open, and his mother is ready to file suit because her bratty but “impressionable” boy was “traumatized.” Bet you there has been no dad in this picture for a good long while.
This could get interesting
I live near to that school.
That neighborhood is Moscow Center in the middle of a very liberal town.
These kids would become very violent, foul mouthed, and uncontrollable. My wife got kicked, hit and swore at constantly. The guy aid would put the violent kids in the padded cell, where they would scream and yell, and kick the door.
6 weeks of hell for my wife. They were all from single family situations - They all will become violent criminals and end up in jail. There is no hope for them.
How many will they kill, injure or violate(or vote for Obama)?
Probably now it's for some teacher or administrator's special needs (wink-wink). Too many low-life abusers in the system.
Cool Hand Luke placemarker.
What are we coming to ...and when did schools start building "padded rooms"?
I’d be lifting that principal by the throat off the ground. Fact.
I was in the 4th grade in 1954. Three swats on my butt with a paddle (with drilled holes) in Principal Rasmondson’s office got my attention.
Then I got the belt from dad when I got home. Mom kept me busy with extra chores for the entire weekend.
I never again stole chalk from school — I also never again wrote dirty words on the road, right up to my house. ;>)
I remember when a kid got one chance to be “disruptive in class” and, within minutes, learned that it was a very bad plan.
In elementary school in the early 1960’s, I often was locked in a “quiet” room because I was frequently not the perfect little drone that incessant indoctrination required. And said room wasn’t padded, either. It was some kind of combination storage room and electrical distribution room full of large electrical distribution panels and dusty shelves full of old text books and other dusty old crap. I was frequently told when locked in said room that if my behavior didn’t improve I was likely headed to the electric chair. I suppose the electric panels were supposed to play on my imagination in combination with such admonitions.
However, I was a tough little kid, so that kind of nonsense didn’t make too much of an impression on me, even at that those tender ages, and I found the quiet storage room was actually rather pleasant compared to being in class. I had no trouble passing the time, since I merely disappeared into a delightful fantasy world of my own making.
I would have never occurred to me to complain to my parents about these punishments, since of course they would simply have added their own whippings to top off the earlier school punishments.
Ah, the days of yore of government education in the deep South in the golden olden days.
In our school district they now place the headbangers in with the regular kids, and of course that means a second teacher needs to be in the classroom. Parents who love their children should do whatever they have to do to keep their kids far, far away from the government schools.
Mom needs a reality check.
My oldest boy came home from school last year absolutely mortified by the punishment the principle had handed down to him... she had made him spend his recess time in the kitchen doing dishes!
Of course, due to my son being an "impressionable young kid who watches TV", I ran straight to my lawyer because the school made him feel like "one of the help".
In reality, I called the principle and extended my appreciation for her unorthodox and VERY effective method of making sure my 7 year-old wouldn't be prone to throwing paper-wads during lunch anymore. Of course, this is what you get at a private, Christian school that not only lacks interest in seeking State accreditation, they outright shun it.
I have to tell you, when he came home that day and was telling me, in disgust, about his ordeal washing dishes at school... it was very difficult for me to not bust out laughing.
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I guess the state will take the disabled and knock them off.
Funds are running out.
It explains the SSA ammo.
They have a scam in NYC called Adult Day Care. It’s not for seniors. It lists comprehensive care, meals, etc.. Two people have given me different flyers for locations in the last week. It notes Medicaid, Medicare, HMOs. Now with the fraud already in the system, illegals and Obamacare, it could only be Cloward-Piven and knocking people off.
Pray for me, i’ll need it.