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Emotional Debate Over Use of Seclusion Rooms In School

Wisconsin, February 18, 2010
How much leeway should teachers have when dealing with kids prone to violent outbursts? That question goes to the heart of the debate at the Capitol and in the classroom over seclusion rooms and restraints.

"I have a third grade son with special needs." Becky Van Ravenstein's son is prone to outbursts. She says at his previous school, there was no room for him to calm down in. "Since he has transferred to Merrill (Elementary, in Oshkosh) with appropriate facilities to address his needs, including a timeout room, he has been much more successful."

Becky testified at a Capitol hearing Thursday against a bill that would strictly regulate seclusion rooms like the one her son uses.

"Restraint and seclusion are harming our childrens academic progress and perhaps even more disturbing, causing serious physical and emotional harm," says Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay).

It's unknown how many schools have or use seclusion rooms and restraints.
The Department of Public Instruction only has guidelines for their use and schools don't have to report how often they're used.

Read the complete article here.


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