Iowa: Putting early elementary students in locked seclusion rooms

Sept 13, Café Iowa Schools Are Putting Kids in Locked Boxes for Time-Out

Disciplining children in school is tough. Educators have to balance the unique needs of the individual child while keeping in mind that there are other students in the classroom who are trying to learn.

There's no easy solution, but we know that Iowa's method of locking children in dark, padded "seclusion boxes” is most definitely not the answer.  I

owa, along with Arkansas, Illinois, Montana, and New York, allow teachers the option to seclude students as punishment even when the children pose no threat of physical danger to themselves or other people. In order to carry out these punishments, some Iowa schools have seclusion rooms. In some schools they're repurposed storage spaces.

In others they're roughly six feet by six feet padded pine boxes that look like something you'd find in a episode of American Horror Story, not an elementary school. Pretty sure Harry Potter's cupboard under the stairs was roomier than this. The Iowa Department of Education looked into the Iowa City School District's practice of using seclusion rooms after a complaint was filed earlier this year.

This isn't the case where teachers are afraid that big burly teenagers might take a swing and want them to cool off before they do something they'll regret. The investigators found that out of 455 situations where a seclusion room was used, most of the children being put in those rooms were in kindergarten through the third grade.