Concern over stories of trauma has prompted states reviewing use of “Quiet Rooms” for school discipline.
Seclusion rooms are widely used across the country to discipline and manage students who have violent, uncontrollable outbursts which threaten the safety of themselves and others. The use of them is controversial, but they are used in many districts as a means of control.
Recently, Virginia required the state Board of Education to develop regulations governing uses of seclusion and restraint statewide. Criticism of the technique centers on whether it is truly necessary to keep classroom order, and concerns over the physical and emotional harm kids may be exposed to. School boards have resisted the regulations and restrictions, saying that restraint and seclusion may be necessary at times.
Seclusion and restraint “can be an appropriate and necessary technique to utilize in order to avoid dangerous situations and to maintain order in the public schools,” attorney Kathleen Mehfoud wrote on behalf of Virginia school boards and superintendents.
Parents of disabled children describe scenarios of excessive use of force, long times being strapped in a chair facing a wall, physical injury, and neglect.