Yesterday's Telegraph reported that 8-year-old Melanie-Rose Wichmann was discriminated against on the basis of her disability (she is on the autism spectum). School staff at John Fisher Roman Catholic Primary School in Perivale, West London have been ordered to apologize after shutting her in a 16ft by 7ft medical room "when she burst into tears and started waving her arms around because she feared she would be punished for not doing her homework." Kept in the room for up to ten minutes, Melanie-Rose has suffered from anxiety attacks since February of 2008.
For every case like Melanie-Rose's that gets reported, one suspects there's more than go unnoted and unnoticed. There's been calls for an end to the use of physical restraints and timeout rooms for special education students. Parent blogger Ange has started a grassroots campaign in Missouri to end the use of these inhumane practices and especially for students with disabilities. Another parent blogger, Club 166, wrote about why we really need to think outside the box and stop seeing restraints and seclusion as the "best alternative" and, indeed, an "acceptable" practice in an educational setting, and for special education students in particular.
Read more here.
Copy and paste URL: http://autism.change.org/blog/view/school_district_wins_in_timeout_case_in_court