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Mustang Creek, OK: Special needs children shut in "small closet-like rooms to control behavior"

Dec 4, 2017, (Norman, OK) Oklahoma Watch: Despite Objections, Oklahoma Schools Use ‘Seclusion Rooms’ to Isolate Students http://oklahomawatch.org/2017/12/04/despite-objections-oklahoma-schools-use-seclusion-rooms-to-isolate-students/ Special needs students spend time in this room at Mustang Creek Elementary school, a practice that sparked controversy earlier this year. A controversial practice of shutting children alone in small closet-like rooms to control their behavior has led Oklahoma parents to withdraw their children from school, seek police intervention and take legal action. … Students placed in the room often have special needs. … “We send them into school, and we trust these other adults have been trained to deal with these problems … and they do these outrageous things and we don’t know,” said Jennifer Ashford, a mother who sued the Edmond Public Schools district over its seclusion rooms in 2010. Students have been injured, traumatized and even died in seclusion rooms across the country, according to a 2009 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. That report found hundreds of allegations of death and abuse, most of children with disabilities, related to the use of seclusion and restraints in public schools; none of the case studies were from Oklahoma. Some Oklahoma school officials defend the use of the rooms, saying they are used only in extreme circumstances to isolate a student acting violently. Or, as in Mustang, they are used as part of a program to prevent suspensions of students with severe behavioral and emotional disabilities. …