Friday, January 23, 2009

Why We Can't Be Complacent

Visual description: a black seclusion box with a lock. The box is covered with chalkboard material and children's scribbles in colored chalk: the words "summer time," a picture of a sun, a butterfly, and a colored flower. The front of the box has a small glass window. Image from the Disability Law and Advocacy Center of Tennessee.

From Patricia E. Bauer:
A new Tennessee state law enacted this month establishes stricter rules for the use of restraint or isolation as discipline methods in special education classrooms. A report released last week by the National Disability Rights Network highlighted the use of plywood “seclusion boxes” in a Tennessee county.

In Sumner County, children were being isolated in 4-by-3½-foot plywood boxes that were placed in 12 schools. The boxes were dismantled after a parent notified the state’s Disability Law and Advocacy Center.

Click here for further information from the Disability Law and Advocacy Center and from Media Dis-n-Dat.

These children must have indeed dreamed of summer, as revealed in their chalk drawings. While the schools claimed to use these standing boxes for storage, why were they all empty and why were the walls carpeted and the floors tiled? Apparently investigation determined otherwise.

Were there even airholes?

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