School accused of locking 7-year-old boy in scary 'time out room' (VIDEO)
Parents drop off their children at school and expect them to be safe behind those walls, but that wasn't the case for the Noyes family of Arizona. The family is suing their son's former school district and Elementary school, Desert Sage, for allegedly physically abusing and locking the second grader in a time-out room for long periods of time. Their son, who is only being identified as T.N., was a special education student there, and according to his folks, has severe sugar allergies which the school neglected to take cafe of, causing him to act out.
The school claims that the child was locked up because he acted out too much, and it had nothing to do with his allergies. T.N.'s parents accuse school officials of dragging the child down the hall into the 5-by-5-foot padded room, that they even forced him to inhale residue from carpet cleaning, and that he was sent home with multiple bruises.
In addition to the mistreatment, the Huffington Post reports that T.N. had a high absence record all due to the fear and anxiety that going to school gave him. Well, I honestly would be a nervous wreck too if I was locked up in a tiny room for long periods of time! The school calls the time-out area the "cool down" room and insists that their staff is fully trained to deal with unruly children, and their parents are notified once they are placed in isolation.
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Whether or not the parents and school's claims are true, it can't be argued that secluding a child in a tiny room can be emotionally and mentally harmful. At his age and with his condition, the child may not be old enough to understand why he is being punished and understandably feel persecuted.
Although this method of discipline isn't unknown (Arizona prisons follow that practice with their inmates and they've also been controversially used for special ed or autistic children), according to cnn.com, there have been many cases of children subjected to "cool down" rooms who commit suicide because of the trauma they face in isolation.
It is scary for parents to have to wonder if their child is safe in their classroom and if the school fairly disciplines its students. There has to be another way for the law to reform this method of punishment because whether it's done to a child or an adult, it is a form of emotional and mental abuse. Hopefully this case will make educators and law makers alike see the need for banning these "torture" chambers.
Images via CBS 5