Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, September 10, 2012

This disturbed me

that anyone would treat a child this way 1) in the name of education, 2) without resorting to other measures, and 3) without parental consent or knowledge, This is not just a way of 'time out'. And this is how just one 5-year-old was treated. According to the opinion piece, thousands of children are disciplined at school using restraints or seclusion rooms, with a high proportion of them children with special needs, and a good proportion of them non-white.

A Terrifying Way to Discipline Children
At school, her mother and I found Rose standing alone on the cement floor of a basement mop closet, illuminated by a single light bulb. There was nothing in the closet for a child — no chair, no books, no crayons, nothing but our daughter standing naked in a pool of urine, looking frightened as she tried to cover herself with her hands. On the floor lay her favorite purple-striped Hanna Andersson outfit and panties.

Rose got dressed and we removed her from the school. We later learned that Rose had been locked in the closet five times that morning. She said that during the last confinement, she needed to use the restroom but didn’t want to wet her outfit. So she disrobed. Rather than help her, the school called us and then covered the narrow door’s small window with a file folder, on which someone had written “Don’t touch!”

We were told that Rose had been in the closet almost daily for three months, for up to an hour at a time. At first, it was for behavior issues, but later for not following directions. Once in the closet, Rose would pound on the door, or scream for help, staff members said, and once her hand was slammed in the doorjamb while being locked inside.

School should be a safe environment; I'm not saying there shouldn't be discipline, but there is a difference between discipline and abuse, and this, in my opinion, crosses the line.

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