Milton, WI: Seclusion of 7-year-old in question

Nov 30, 2017, Madison (WI) Channel 3000: Milton mother says school principal locked 7-year-old in closet District says no policies were violated A 7-year-old student started at a new school in the Milton district Thursday after his mother said the principal at Milton West Elementary locked him in a closet as a form of punishment. Nicole Johnson said she didn’t want to use her son’s name but said he told her Principal Marcia Schwengels locked him in a closet Tuesday for throwing Play-Doh. Johnson said her son told her his class was playing with Play-Doh, and he took his friend’s Play-Doh because his was hard and the friend’s was soft. The teacher tried to take the Play-Doh, but the boy didn’t want to give it up. “From there, he said the teacher called the principal. She came instantly, grabbed him by the arm, pulled him down the hallway. He keeps saying, ‘She kept going so fast, I couldn’t keep up, but she was holding on to my arms so I couldn’t let go,’” Johnson said. … She said she contacted the Milton Police Department, but there was nothing officers could do because the incident wasn’t considered criminal. Johnson said she also met with Superintendent Tim Schigur and Director of Student Services Susan Probst on Wednesday and had a long discussion. According to district policy 5630.01, teachers are allowed to use seclusion and physical restraint with students, but “only when the student’s behavior presents a clear, present and imminent risk to the physical safety of the student or others.” The policy also states seclusion can only be used if “no door connecting the seclusion room or area to other rooms or areas is capable of being locked.” According to the policy, the principal or his/her designee should notify the student’s parents or guardian when seclusion or physical restraint is used as soon as practicable but no later than one business day after the incident. … Johnson said she was never notified by the school district. She only knew about the incident because her son told her. … Johnson said she had received several responses from parents who said they’ve experienced something similar but haven’t spoken up.