Sunday, April 8, 2012

Scream rooms in school causes discomfort with parents

An article about a school had caught my attention. It was about Farm Hill Elementary School in Middleton, Conneticut. School staff are putting misbehaving children in a secluded room for a "time out". Also, special needs students are put in these rooms. There are then locked in and left inside until they calm down. Parents call these small rooms "scream rooms". They are called this because the children locked inside scream for someone to let them out.

These rooms have four concrete walls and have small holes for windows. Some of the imprisoned children are known to harm themselves by hitting their heads off the wall. This can be an issue for the heath of the child. There also can be a problem with this method of punishment. Parents have overheard that the custodians have to clean the rooms of blood and urine. The child being held can become traumatized. This can severely traumatize the child.

A couple of parents had seen two staff members holding a door shut as a child kicked and scream while hitting the door. Under the state law seclusion time is legal for disabled students. There is one exception with this law. A student needs to have an IEP for seclusion time. Reportedly, not all the children who are secluded have IEPs. The superintendent had sought out to make changes in the school. A report was sent to the school addressing the following:
● Upgrading the psychiatrist from part-time to full-time
● Increased training for teachers
● Hiring a behavioral technician to work closely with the children
● Widening the support for the Family Resource Center for the children though the fifth

In my opinion the confinement of the misbehaving children is not the solution. The school should have seen this due to the supposed blood and urine in the rooms. The school should be looking into alternative methods for the safety of the students.

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