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*US use of seclusion with SPED kids in schools finally coming under scrutiny

Mar 1, 2018, Santa Barbara (CA) Pacific Standard: THE TRAUMA OF COERCION: DISABLED ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS AND 'ISOLATION BOXES'—Isolation boxes have been used as punishment against students with special needs for decades. Why did it take neurotypical students being isolated for parents to collectively speak out? https://psmag.com/education/disabled-elementary-school-students-and-isolation-boxes In the fall of 2017, news of the six-by-six bare pine boxes—which have, in their various forms, been called "seclusion enclosures," "isolation booths," "isolation boxes," and "time-out rooms"—used to confine elementary school students in eastern Iowa, sometimes for over an hour at a time, went viral. As the headlines mounted, angry parents learned they did not legally have to be informed of such measures if taken against their children by educators. Critics contended that the use of these boxes amounted to solitary confinement. There have been a flurry of cases involving isolation boxes over the last six years. In 2012, parents at Longview's Mint Valley Elementary School in Washington state were scandalized by the alleged use of a padded cell. In 2014, schools in the Mansfield Independent School District in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were found to place students in windowless, concrete "recovery rooms" around 800 times over the course of the 2013–14 school year; their stays in the cells sometimes spanned hours, even an entire school day. Special education students, it was noted, were often singled out for confinement in recovery rooms. In 2016, parents in Kansas were enraged after a fourth-grader was kept in one such box as punishment for being disruptive in class. There have been other questionable methods used to punish school students. More recently, an Indiana nine-year-old with autism made headlines after being handcuffed and arrested by police on campus. The story, like so many others, became one of competing narratives: The nine-year-old's family claims he was defending himself against violent bullying, and the school claims the child himself was violent against a teacher and other students. Though the specifics of each incident vary, there's a clear theme here: Seclusion, confinement, and restraint are overwhelmingly used in schools against students with disabilities, particularly cognitive, behavioral, and psychosocial disabilities. A 2014 analysis of the Department of Education's Civil Rights Data Collection by NPR and ProPublica concluded that it was children with disabilities who were being secluded or restrained in 75 percent of incidents. … … special education staff are not always given adequate training and resources in mastering the de-escalation of conflict and behavioral issues. The dominant argument used to justify seclusion boxes and other such methods are not disciplinary measures claims that these methods are used to protect students from inflicting harm on their peers or themselves. … "In school settings, the practice of restraining and secluding children with disabilities for student safety has crossed-over into a form of corporal punishment that infringes upon the students' ability to receive an inclusive education," she writes. …