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Plainfield School Accused of Food Denial, Using ‘Jail Cell’

Connecticut, March 6, 2010
Withholding food, a “jail cell” time-out room and unnecessary restraint of special education students are among the allegations being made against Shepard Hill Elementary School’s Clinical Day Treatment Program by paraprofessionals, parents and a Board of Education member.

“It’s an ugly mess,” Board of Education Vice Chairwoman Angela Klonoski said. “It’s just been a nightmare.”

The Shepard Hill program is one of five in the district for children with emotional or intellectual disabilities, Plainfield Superintendent of Schools Mary Conway said.

Philip LaFemina, coordinator for the programs, said the Shepard Hill program includes eight students who spend most of their day with the program. It also provides support services for another five to six students who spend most of their day in regular classrooms. He said eight full and part-time paraprofessionals work in the program, though other paraprofessionals assist when students are immersed into classrooms.

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