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Parent wants others to be aware of seclusion rooms in school

READ MORE: Parent wants others to be aware of seclusion rooms in school
Five feet by seven feet wide, nine feet tall with a small window and padded walls. It is called a seclusion room. Kirsten Findley is troubled by the one found at Carolina Beach Elementary School; her son is in kindergarten. "He said he had very traumatic experience with a teacher. That he was threatened to be locked into a room with the lights off and the door locked," said Kirsten. Early this month, Findley said her son was having a bad day at school, and was crying uncontrollably. She said his teacher sent him to an empty classroom to calm down; a classroom for special education students. The seclusion room is inside. Findley said, "At first I thought that was kind of far fetched. I didn't really know of a room like that at my school. So, the next day I went to the school to speak to them about the situation." The seclusion room is used for some special education students who fall under the Individualized Education Program. After a psychological assessment, parents can agree to allow their children to be placed in seclusion if they are displaying dangerous behavior to themselves or others. It is not intended as a punishment. New Hanover County Executive Director of Special Education, William Trant said, "That's a component of a IEP, it's not for all children. It's for children with disabilities that may suggest that particular kind of need or that intervention." Findley's son was never actually placed in this seclusion room, though she said it was used to threaten him, which is not what it's for. Findley eventually filed a complaint with the school district. School officials replied saying, "The principal has assured me that they will no longer utilize the IBS classroom as an intervention for your son." School officials are still investigating the incident and told me they can not discuss the issue further, since it's a personnel issue. The State Board of Education permits seclusion rooms with strict guidelines and inspections. The majority of schools in New Hanover County have a seclusion room. Findley said her goal was to make other parents aware such rooms do exist. Many other states permit the use of seclusion rooms. Officials say teachers who work with special education students undergo intensive training, to learn when using them is appropriate.

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young student

A logical response would have been to call the mom and ask her to come to school to handle the out of sorts little one. Sounded like he was having a bad day. If it then continued, the child study team and the principal, along with parents would work together to address the problem. Threatening young children at the beginning of their career is inappropriate. I'm not in the same state, but usually there is board policy regarding employment issues and those policies need to be followed. Some times teachers make mistakes in a split second decision, (especially if they are young) but that is why there are policies to follow--which usually include an oral warning first, then written, a plan of action for improvement--not a harsh firing. The administrators would have just been covering their own @#@@#'s by firing the teacher for this in hopes that the parent doesn't sue; however, in their haste, the employee may have actions against them if indeed, they were fired over this. Plus, where was the principal and why wasn't he more aware of what was going on at his school--along with getting to know each of his students and needs of the teachers?

went to far

you proved your point. getting the teacher fired and taking legal action is terrible of you. To ruin someones reputation and waste money over something so stupid. I really do not see where your child was emotionally abused. I get upset over some of the things my kids teachers do but after talking to the teacher I realize that it wasn't that bad. Sometimes children make it worse than it is. I'm not saying he was not upset, and I'm not saying the teacher could have worded it different but to get her fired is a mean and selfish thing to do. Did you ever consider she has her own family to support. You need to remember do unto others as you would have them do to you.

gone to far? i dont think

gone to far? i dont think so. its still child abuse those rooms are prep. for prison when i was in school they would put me in them for most of the day instead of calling my parents to deal with the prob. ive even sean them lie to my parents about why.doesn't matter what the reason is they have no right. if a parent did those things the kid would be taken. they would also chicken wing me [bend my arm back up behind me up high] like a cop. some teachers do it just because they can. and their r lasting affects believe me. the teachers reputation lol ha! what about the Incarcerated child. as for (the teachers family) an do unto others. what if others did that to that teachers family u think teach. would b ok with that? i dont think so. now i have kids and if i found out they pulled that crap i would sue-have teacher fired or (force teacher to retire) then go after the school. the bulls--t has to stop
what ever happened to the ruler across the fingers or stack of encyclopedias in each hand


Perhaps behaving yourself never entered your mind did it? I guess you liked the room because you kept acting like an a$$.

Well, then I guess until the

Well, then I guess until the economy turns around we can all screw up at work as much as we want and claim that with the fact we have families and the job market is bad, then we should not face any consequences. The article says plainly that the teacher has undergone extensive training on how and when to use the room but she apparently disregarded all of that. Maybe your last sentence says it all. The mother feels like treating the teacher in the same manner her son was treated.

No but if you screwed up one

No but if you screwed up one time at work would you think it would be fair to be fired or would it be fair to get retrained and allowed to have another chance. This teacher was wrong to do this but we do not know the whole story. Your comment was way off.

Threatening a 5 year old in

Threatening a 5 year old in the manner she did is a mean and selfish thing to do. I for one have to question her fitness to be around them. Fire her.

Threatening a 5 year old

Are you a teacher? Have you ever taught in a public school with 15 plus kids at one time? If not, you have no right to pass judgement on what this teacher did in a "spur of the moment" decision. Was she wrong? maybe (again you don't know how difficult these situations can be). Should she be fired for one mistake? No way.

Teachers are not perfect

It's true the IEP teacher was wrong for assuming your child could deal with the same punishment as her daily students do, you should never threaten a child certainly not a small child whom you have no information about. I am sure her threats of a trip to the "BLUE ROOM" are common practice in her classroom of emotionally charged children. His primary teacher probably could have picked a better spot for the child to take a moment to gather himself rather than putting him in a class with a teacher with whom your he was not familiar and who is already overwhelmed with emotional children. But would it not be better to try and have the Board of Education require the IEP teacher to take a leave or probation period or even more training in dealing with children who have suffered the lose of a parent or loved one rather than have her fired. I am sure she did not mean to scare your son and had she known his situation she probably would have been even compassionate but she did not know his complete history, but she did what she is required to do with the type of children she deals with daily and his teacher thought that he was not stable enough at that moment to stay in the regular class so the IEP teacher must have assumed he had issues or he would not have been taken out of his main class. I would be angry if anyone made my son afraid for one second but no teacher is perfect and if the IEP teacher must be held accountable to such an extreme as to be fired than it would only be fair to hold his primary teacher just as responsible for putting him in a classroom that is not commonly used for children in the regular classes. I am glad someone is letting parents know about these rooms I had only seen rooms like that in mental institutions. But the bottom line is this teacher was hired to teach a very special group of children and for a short period of time his teacher decided that she could not control his crying and that it was so disturbing to an entire classroom that she thought it would be better for everyone if she completely removed him and that this class was best suited for him. He was put in her class and she was doing what she has been trained to do . Seems like all the adults dropped the ball but that's life and there is not one perfect teacher, parent or school anywhere. Don"t damage more lives ,do the right thing and try to change the rules or educate people don't punish a teacher for doing what she was trained to do for her IEP students. It's a sad day when people can sue for things that could be settled just by talking, passing new laws or EDUCATION. It sounds like your son has been through alot and my heart goes out to him I have a son in first grade and he is a special needs child I also have a daughter that attended CBS when she was 5 and was locked out of the school for more then 15 minutes alone outside and scared to death it took me more than a month to get her to stop crying when I dropped her off ,she was so afraid and I was P#*$ed . But I knew the teacher made a mistake and my child was not physically hurt she apologized and it was over. I hope it works out for all involved and more parents shoud be so concerned about there children.. Good Luck to you.....

School jail

I'd been out of town and am now catching up. Plus, I wanted some time to think about this. I've mentioned before that we should prepare kids for their futures as adults. And teaching them early on what to expect as punishment is among those steps. Frankly, I think this needs to be in place for ALL students. As an adult, when you reach a certain point in your actions, punishment will take place. Believe it or not, even adults face being "sent home" or even "expelled" from certain places for their actions. They receive "warnings", "suspension", and other methods of punishment that can actually be translated to versions enforced on children. While I also believe that certain actions in schools require a major response, such as an official arrest by police officers, sometimes, the actions of the child come close but do not actually cross the line. A "seculsion room", or a "jail", may be sufficient for older students. A time out is required as punishment for some elementary school children, which is sometimes in a corner of the classroom. But there are times when the need to segregate the child entirely, but still maintain security and control over that child may be required. Requiring authorization to use the room might help, such as conferring with a principal or disciplinary officer. In addition, it seems an interesting note that while Parents may not confine their child to even a large walk in closet with a light without facing retaliation by child and family services (and I've haven't done this because I don't have a large enough closet), I'm surprised that the government agency has not had words in regards to this action in the school. If it is bad for Parents to do such a thing, why wouldn't it be bad for the schools. I'd say if you lock your child in a well ventilated room/closet, with appropriate lighting and child services comes knocking due to a complaint, you, the Parent, should have justification for filing harassment charges against them and the "complainer" because it's apparently a legal form of punishment according to a government agency, the school system/board. BTW, I'm laughing at all the "I was punished using form x, and I turned out ok so it must not be a bad thing and must, in fact, be the ultimate solution to punishment". Why? Simple: We aren't clones. Not everyone reacts the same way to every single similar situation. Time for reality. Andrew

Thank You

Thanks to the supporters. This issue doesn't end with this news story and legal actions are in the works. I know that I'm doing the right thing here. I must say that I love CBES and always boasted it as one of the best schools. My sons teacher is a saint in my book and is not the staff member responsible for acting unprofessionally that day. Furthermore I do not want this to seem like an attack on the this school because it is an issue with New Hanover county schools system as a whole. I personally dont know what that room is for nor should I considering my children do not have behavior issues. I know that room is not to be used for any child without written consent from the parent. (I don't agree with it but I think the IEP parents have the right to make that decision) I am VERY concerned with the fact that the room is not being used properly and unfortunately one bad egg ruins the bunch. And CBES has a bad egg in its basket. But since I was swept under the table about my personel concern, what was I supposed to do? Nothing, and allow this misuse of this room to continue? How many students(not IEP or IBS)have been sent to the special needs teacher for being disruptive in their classroom? I'll tell you...3 that I know of so far,other than my child, from first hand conversations with them. I wonder why we don't know about it but the students call it "The Blue Room".

Seclusion Rooms are Abuse

I live in Ontario Canada in a small town called Thessalon. I had a incident with my son at school. He is 6 years old, in grade 1 and high functioning autistic. The day after Thanksgiving in October I was called in and by the time I got to the school they said he was up at the office, when I got to the office the principle told me that she didn't believe that this was a meltdown and that it was a behaviour, which I still think she's an idiot for saying that about my son and she's clueless to who he actually is. Anyways then she began to tell me that my son was in the Calming Room so that he would not be put on ''display'' or ''trampled.'' Now where in the guidelines is that nessecary to put a child in a seclusion room. Anyways I made a facebook group letting people know that those rooms exist and sure enough got a call on my cell phone from the school board. They said that room would not be used for any of the children which is what I wanted and I voluntarily said I would shut down the group. We had a meeting and basically I realized that they could be lying about the room being shut down and that they were just trying to shut me up so nobody sues or so forth. Someone contacted MCTV News about my story and they found me, so there I was on the news. One thing that seemed so manipulative was the school board lady was trying to convince me that even though I told her I made that fb group to make awareness because parents have a right to know that she stated "I think you were just looking for advice and a cry for help." She was trying to drill it in my head. So I went on the news thinking this will let people know they exist and also in hopes of the school not going back on their word about closing the room to all kids. My son was traumatized from being in that room, it broke my heart going through that with him. He may live a bit of a different world than us but he knows when something isn't right and hurts. Other stories have come out that kids were locked in that room alone for stupid reasons like a kid got bullied and the principle found the kid and locked the kid in there even though he was the one who was bullied. Tell me these rooms aren't for punnishment and I am sorry but just because a child is special needs does not give them the right to abuse any kid this way. I wish teachers could see the after affects that the kid goes through and in my opinion these rooms are used mostly on special needs children because a lot of them can't commnicate what is happening properly. When I think back on it, I regret not sueing but I thought it was more important for parents to stand up for their kids and not be pushed around by power tripped hotheaded fake figures in the public eye...and I dont mean all, I just mean certain ones because their everywhere. To see the news clip go to thats my youtube link

You have the right as a

You have the right as a citizen to complain but you also can be held accountable for things you say that injure other persons' reputation and standing in the community that are assumed and not true. Legal action brings legal action often. I saw that the schools opened up their doors for you and the TV reporters and I heard you say you were not interested in filing a legal suit but just wanted everyone to know about the time out room. What changed your mind? I used a time out room with my children and it worked. I am sure many other parents do the same. I believe you are setting a example for children that will confuse them about the role of the schools in providing a structured disciplined environment for them. Afterall, you were not even present when whatever happened, happened.

You're kidding right?

Legal Action? You are kidding right? You're trying to make a buck off of the county tax payers and blaming some teacher for it. Nice move lady. So tell me, how were you OR your son damaged? He was crying in class? Why was he crying in class? You say his teacher was a saint? According to the news story, you say your child's teacher took him to an empty classroom to calm down, how did this other teacher become involved? I think you need to get your story straight. Let's face it, you are looking for an easy payout. You're about as bad as on AIG Executive looking to keep your retention bonus.

The saint of a teacher

The saint of a teacher handed this child off to another teacher in the building when he was hysterical? Why wouldn't the classroom teacher handle this issue herself - aren't there 2 staff people in this class? Wouldn't he or she be the best to deal with your child? Legal action sounds ridiculous...your child was not even placed in the room! I suggest spending money on getting professional help for your child so that he or she may learn how to deal with the world without becoming hysterical - or better yet spend the $$ on private school rather than a lawyer who will not have a chance of winning. The legal route will waste more of my tax dollars defending your frivolous claims...

response to Counting Holes

All news stories have holes in them. They never have time to explain details in a 3minute segment. I don't want to gain one cent from this. I am a taxpayer, too. My goal however is to have the teacher removed from the school system...yes FIRED... bring on the attacks. My son is not the only student in this case against her and I know I am doing the right thing for all the students at that school. When wway interviewed me on camera, other parents were interviewed as well. Why did they ONLY use mine?...because before they can use it, all formal paperwork must be officially filed with the school board/superintendant. The other parents have children in IEP and Not. Don't you people who have a problem with this story care that this room is being improperly used?


Why fired? Was that your intention all along? If so, why didn't you say so? What did the teacher do that was so egregious that she deserves to be fired? What you are saying is that because your child, who was crying and unable to be settled by his primary teacher and teacher assistant, tells you his version of an incident that happened in school, you want this woman fired? I totally understand the wanting to make sure your child is safe, but you must be kidding me. So you want to impact not only this woman, but her family as well? Is this woman married? What if she isn't and her job is supporting 1,2, or even three children? In this economy, is that really the mindset that you have? Heck, you stated that your son recently lost his father, this means you lost a husband (if you were still married). Are you allowing those feelings to vent through this? If your child is having issues dealing the the loss of his father, then perhaps he should be seeing a professional if he isn't already. If he wasn't supposed to be in the Intensive Behavior Support classroom, then the person you should have the issue with is the kindergarten teacher and her assistant. Their primary responsibility is to handle a crying child, as you say your son was. If a child is taken to an IBS Classroom, I am assuming they are in need of INTENSIVE behavior support. That was this woman's job. If she has no personal relationship with your son, they she would not know the sensitivity of the situation. She deals with kids who have the potential to disrupt a classroom at any moment not little kids who can't stop crying. So, I ask you again, are you seriously trying to get this woman fired? Ask yourself why. Ask yourself what would that really accomplish? Ask yourself if you are prepared for the responsibility of adding more people on to the welfare rolls in North Carolina. That's what you would be doing.

If she wants to have the

If she wants to have the woman's job then she is within her rights. I'm surprised the BOE has not taken action against the teacher. She violated a school system policy. It's simple. If this child did not have a signed permission form to use this room in an IEP, then it is against school policy to use it. All of these schools have counselors. The student could have been taken to see the counselor and then if he/she was unable to cope, then the parent would have been notified. Perhaps you are missing the point of this room's use. It is a padded cell for children with conditions that make them uncontrollable at certain times where they may be a danger to themselves or others. This room's use is not to be taken lightly. Apparently you don't have much experience with special needs. My son has cerebral palsy and I spent some time when he was younger as a volunteer in his class at school. There were children in the class who could seriously injure themselves or others when they became uncontrollable. Attacking others or beating their heads against the walls, etc. Children who cannot be calmed without physical restraint. That way the child has time to calm down without injury to themselves or school personnel. Those are the children the room is designed for and the parents still have to give prior permission. Crying uncontrollably does not meet the criteria. Regardless of the economic situation in the country, this teacher violated school policy which does leave the school system open to liabilty suits and they can terminate her for it if they wish. The current economic situation is no excuse for incompetence or flagrant violation of the rules.

Teachers are charged by law

Teachers are charged by law to maintain order in the classroom. The teacher took action to stop the misconduct by this student in an effort to protect the student and others in the class. If teachers did not maintain order, they could be fired. Now you want the teacher fired because she tried to maintain order. Chaos is the result of lack of order in the classroom and in society. I am sure that is not what you want. Perhaps we should fire our police officers as well.

The child was crying because

The child was crying because he was upset at the recent passing of his father. So you are saying he was a danger to himself and others because of it? You would do this to your child because it was crying? The room is there for a reason. If you want to preach about chaos, it starts by people ignoring the rules, and that is exactly what this teacher did. Thank you, you just supported my position.


She should also be calling for the jobs of the Kindegarten teacher and teacher assistant who neglected their responsibility as well. If central administration has made a decision based on the case, and the teacher is still in the classroom, then they have made their decision. They cannot comment publicly on personnel matters. We do not know if this teacher has been put on an action plan, is being required to attend sensitivity classes or get specialized training in proper usage of the room. We need to trust that they are doing the right thing in regards to the children of CBES as well as the professional development of the teacher(s) in question. The state mandates children attend school from the ages of 5-16. Parents have the right to choose how their children are educated. If a parent is not satisfied with the quality of education their child is recieving, they have the right to remove their child from the public education system and either home school their child or send them to a private institution. Let me reiterate, this child was NOT placed in the room, and they alleged threat is coming from the account of an emotionally charged five year old. I am sure there were NO exagerations or misunderstandings on the part of this child whatsoever.

Seclusion room

in reagrds to the following comment..["When a child spits, kicks, tries to climb out of windows, hits, breaks furniture, urinates on themselves, deficates property and comes after you with scissors....what are you supposed to do?" ]... hey a child who has these problems should be in a special school should they not be? If this is a mainstream school for gosh sakes the kids should not be mixed. If my child had special needs with these problems I would live in a county that provides the correct care. And if my child does not have these problems I would not want them in the same school as a child that spits or comes at you with a scissor. Use common sense. Get the correct ed. for your child. Move if you must. YES , move it is an option.

Do you think that moving is

Do you think that moving is an option? This is a public school and these are the types of kids that are serviced. The "blue room" is in the IBS room and it is used for these types of situations. That is what it is for you big dummy. That is what the conversation has been about for the past three days. The room is used for these types of children.....the kids are not mainstreamed they are self-contained students. Kindergarten mom is upset because her "normal" son was threatened with the room as a punishment which was the wrong action for the teacher to take. The county is provided the correct care. The seclusion room is the correct care! Get your facts straight.

Being a mom of a two year

Being a mom of a two year old I have yet to enter this domain, but having been in the place of a student and a teacher I can somewhat relate. First I don't think "seclusion rooms" are the answer in regards to disciplining a child at school. When I was a student in school, the norm was to be sent to the hallway to sit and think or to sit in a secluded area of the classroom. The next step was the principals office and parents were notified one way or another. As we got older after school detention was incorporated and even in-school suspension. Sometimes acting out in elem. school resulted in loss of certain privelages, like recess. Second, I interned for a neighboring elem. school as part of a project during my senior year in HS. I saw how some students had unruly behavior toward the teacher. It is frustrating when a teacher is trying to teach 30 students on average. Thirdly, I believe discipline starts at home. The Bible stated "spare the rod, spoil the child." I for one think that so many parents do not properly discipline kids. There is a fine line between abuse and discipline but parents need to learn to raise kids with respect and teach right from wrong. I do with my child. I refuse to let my child run amok. That is why you have so many kids going out and shooting up schools, beating on others and joining gangs. Because parents are afraid of teaching their kids and setting good examples. Some parents are so lazy and just let the TV raise their kids or someone else. Kids need a parent who will love them and bring them up properly. It is sad that so much of society is wasted because parents don't do their job at home. It is called not giving in to every whim and tantrum. Do I give in every time my 2 yo cries when I say "no"? No I stick it out and let him throw his fit bc I know that 2 minutes later he will forget all about it and move on. If he does something wrong he gets told that it is a no. After that he gets a time out or a spanking, depending upon the situation. Kids need love and guidance, mixed with proper discipline, not seclusion rooms.

The Public School System

I don’t know about these seclusion rooms. I do know that the New Hanover County School System was pathetic to say the best when I went through it. I am now doing well so please do not even think about saying that I was a problem student. Too many teachers served as chair warmers at the most. Yes pathetic all the way through grade 12. The main reason that I have done good is because of my parents. OK go ahead and unload on me. I do not care.


You couldn't have done too good with that English of yours. You had it right the first time. Nice try though.

Don't you mean "couldn't

Don't you mean "couldn't have done very well"?


I, too, was an IBS Teacher in NHCS. I also did not receive any training on when/how to use the room. One clarification though, House Bill 1032 (2006) requires that school districts inform all parents yearly about seclusion and restraint in accordance with NC Public School Law. This enacted bill also requires that all public school staff are trained on appropriate/inappropriate uses for such. Has this not happened?

The use of the room for

The use of the room for regular ed students who do not have IEP's is definitely not appropriate. However, when you are trying to defend yourself and other students from physically being attacked by another student this seclusion would defintely work better than having to physically restrain a student. This why they can't hurt themselves or anyone else.

Parents Rights

If parents had their rights they could disapline their children the way they need to be disaplined and then the teachers wouldnt have to worry with sitting with a child when they are misbehaving. I say parects stand up for their rights to disapline their children and it would make the teachers jobs a whole lot easier. And Im not say beat the child for every little thing they do there is a difference in disapline and abuse. I got the belt every time I got in trouble at school, and trust me it was not often, I had respect for all teachers and adults. these kids now days have no respect shoot they dont even know the meaning af respect and they walk around shouting give respect and Ill show respect to the adults. that is just wrong if I even thought about sayin that to an adult I was getting the acros my butt. The society is scream disapline in school but they want allow the parents disapline the kids and that is where they need to be gettin the main disapline.