Time out rooms in schools

lockWhen I saw this on the news the other night, my heart just about broke.  This poor little boy.  He’s a 4th grader and was put in one of these rooms for sometimes most of the day.

The school “employee” in me understands the “WHY” this is sometimes needed but the “mother” in me is furious.  What would happen if we as a parent did this to one of our kids? Locked them in a room for most of the day and not letting them eat lunch or use the restroom? We would have child services at our doorstep in no time yet these schools get away with this?

If you can’t or didn’t watch the video, this is a fourth grade boy who was put in this time out room all the time. His mother was unaware of the amount of time he spent in there.  She also said that she had big concerns about this room and she had it drawn up in his IEP (Individual Education Plan) that he only be in it for 3 minutes at a time. She started to piece it together when she’d ask him what he had for lunch and he said he missed it because he was in the time out room and then he started coming home with soiled clothes.  They kept him in there and didn’t let him use the restroom.

This same teacher did the same thing if not a little worse to another little girl. They have a lawyer on that case and this teacher is no longer working at this school but is still in the district.  Can you stand that?

What also really bothered me about this video is that one of these rooms they showed was right off the hallway.  Completely open for all the other students to see.  This is just plain wrong and I feel, an abuse of power.  I worked in four different school buildings and two of them did have “padded” rooms but the students were only put there if there was an extreme danger to them or someone else. These time outs also work the same way you’d put a small child in one.  They are only effective in small doses.  Not long term for the whole day.  Our rooms like these were only accessible from the special ed room.  Not out in the hallway where these kids can be seen by anyone else.  Talk about easy game for making fun.

How can you say these kids are learning anything if they’re locked up for the day?  This is nothing but cruel.  I would fight this to the end and if I found out one of my kids had been put through this, oohhhh…..you can bet that they’d hear me coming.  It’s one thing for misbehavior but this is above and beyond that.  This other little girl was put in this room 44 times the last school year.  That’s almost 1/4 of the year.  She was put in there so often and for so long that she peeled the paint off the walls and ate it and the room had to be repainted.

If this is what’s coming up in the school’s and if you have a child in Special Ed, I’d highly suggest you read their IEP’s with a fine toothed comb and NOT let your child be put in one of these.  It’s to easy for a frustrated teacher to just “get rid” of kids in this manner.

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9 Responses to Time out rooms in schools

  1. SKL says:

    I’m not an expert in these things, but that sounds like a crime. Seriously.

    The sad thing is that parents only see the tip of the iceberg sometimes. What lengths do parents have to go to, to find out what’s happening to their kids in school? I do hope this is just an anomaly, because this sort of thing really chips away at my trust in the school systems. And for me, that means considering whether I really want my kids attending a “typical” school at all, given what “typical” is starting to look like nowadays.

    I was an education student for three years, and I must say I didn’t study discipline methods. That might have been one of the courses I missed when I changed majors, I don’t know. But considering how often I hear of strange discipline techniques used in schools, I wonder if teachers don’t need to take some classes in this area. Or maybe, better yet, attend a group troubleshooting discussion periodically throughout the school year.

    I think also that over-protective parents are partly to blame in that they put the teachers in an impossible position. In this case, you say the mom said “no more than 3 minutes” for her child. Well, I don’t know, but maybe 3 minutes was meaningless for this child, and the teacher had to choose between doing “nothing” and doing something the parents wouldn’t like. What’s the point of developing better discipline techniques if you’re not going to be allowed to apply them anyway? Of course that is no excuse for making a child starve or wet himself, if that really did happen.

  2. This sounds… medieval. Seriously – locking kids up in a little room with nothing to do? How is that even effective?

    A book I read when I was little had one of the best ideas for a time-out system that I’ve ever heard of. Every time you put a kid in “time out” – as in, sits facing the wall, no allowed to watch tv or play, etc. – you have them read a children’s encyclopedia. Thus, they’re at least doing some learning while they’re in this time, and it’s productive. I don’t know if this would work with all children, but I think it’s a great idea.

  3. mssc54 says:

    It’s a good thing this teacher doesn’t live near me. I’m afraid I would be picketing out in front of her home while her neighbors would be leaving and coming home from work.

    I understand it takes a special individual to be able to properly teach Special Ed, but if you can’t handle the job GET THE HECK OUT!

    Honestly, this just pisses me off!

  4. Just a Mom says:

    This is just plain infuriating to me! I am all for discipline in the schools but this is taking it just a bit to the extreme in my opinion.
    Personally if you have to lock my child up in a “time out” room you better take the time to call me so I can come pick em up!

  5. Morocco says:

    At Evan’s school there was a time limit in which a child could be placed in the “time-out room.” They also had two other adults in the room, which I think might have helped the teacher not to feel completely overwhelmed. But I agree, they are a bit much.

    Unfortunately, many IEP’s are often not followed.

  6. nikki says:

    I’ve heard of time out rooms but honestly thought we past that. I had no idea it was still going on. This makes me so sad and I just want to hug those children and slap those teachers. I want to do so much worse than slap but I’ll be classy. I hope those teachers are held responsible and they shouldn’t be allowed to teach, like SKL said, I feel they committed a crime. Child endangerment, neglect, it makes me sick!

  7. Tessa says:

    That was on the news because that school is in trouble! Shame, Shame! I saw the same thing on Dr.Phil last week about schools giving horrible punishment and that it needs to stop. THe schools are being sued. One private school took a few 12 year old girls and strip searched them. One was so mortified she stopped going and so far I think nothing happened to the school, but Dr. Phil had the show to get the message out there and put an end to this.

  8. Tosha says:

    Icant watch the ideo b/c I’m on from my cell but from what you’ve said I’d be livid! There is no excuse!

  9. Jane says:

    This makes me sick. If someone did that to my child, you’d better hold me down or they’d be in a time out and not only in a room!

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