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Lawrence, MA: School sends disruptive kids to 'sensory deprivation room'

Dec 11, 2017, Boston Fox 25 News: Lawrence mother pulls daughter out of school due to concerns over "relaxation room" http://www.fox25boston.com/news/lawrence-mother-pulls-daughter-out-of-school-due-to-concerns-over-relaxation-room/662480461 A Lawrence mother has brought to light concerns regarding a room at the Community Day Arlington Elementary School meant to help students de-stress. The room, called the "sensory deprivation room" is where the school sends children who are being disruptive in the classroom for a "time-out". However, the room in question is a deprecated, empty room, safe for a single broken chair that sits in the middle of the room, on top of a plain dark blue rug on the concrete floor. Ashley Martinez pulled her seven-year-old daughter Juliana from the school after she learned the girl was forced to spend time inside this unkept room with broken chairs and concrete walls. "She gets sensory overloads and she's very hyper, she has ADHD so she needs to de-stress and to release some energy," said Martinez about her daughter. Juliana is in the first grade at the elementary school in Lawrence. Martinez says that when Juliana acts out, she normally is sent to the school's comfort room, which she says is a welcoming setting that allows students to work on classroom activities. The sensory depravation room, also known as the relaxation room, however, is the polar opposite of the comfort room. "There's no carpeting, there's no padding on the floor, God forbid there's a child banging their head on the floor. There's a broken chair where a child can cut themselves, and it's definitely unsanitary," said Martinez. "It's worse than a jail cell - even inmates at least get a toilet and a clean room." … In a statement, the school department disputes some of the information shared on social media, saying at least one staff member is in the room with a child for no more than 30 minutes at a time. ...