make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Parent wants others to be aware of seclusion rooms in school

READ MORE: Parent wants others to be aware of seclusion rooms in school
seclusion300.jpg
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.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

»

"Officials say ..."

I am an IBS teacher for New Hanover County schools. I have never had any training regarding use of the seclusion room. In fact, I had to inquire about the appropriateness of it's use. I could and would say more about this situation, but I prefer anonymity. Who was this official that you quote? He obviously operates in a different world than I do.

I can't believe that you

I can't believe that you admitted to being an IBS teacher and you do not know how to use the seclusion room. The offical that they quoted was Mr. Trant and he is your boss! I hope you identify yourself so that you can be properly trained to do your job. If you have never had an IBS child who needed this room then you obviously need to check your IEP's because the children you work with are not IBS students.

Over the Top needs to get a clue

Sounds like you need to be visiting the schools instead of defending Bill Trant. As a former IBS (intensive behavior support)teacher, there is no NHCS training as to when or why a child is or is not placed in the seclusion room. Unfortunately, this decision is totally up to the IBS teacher. This makes it difficult and unfair to have decide when a student will harm themselves or others.Often it is to late. Everyones tolerance is different- including IBS teachers. As far a psychological report this is news to many of us. As usual, central office says they have guidelines/policies in place when things get heated but in actuality not true.Principals aren't even informed much less teachers. Hope the school board will revisit what the support or nonsupport of our teachers.