Isolation rooms used in Clark County schools

first_imgWhile school officials have removed a controversial isolation booth at an elementary school in Longview, Clark County school representatives say a number of local schools have similar spaces to restrict and calm aggressive behavior in students with special needs who may be a danger to themselves or others.Although Clark County districts have various names for the spaces — resolution rooms, quiet rooms, calming rooms, safety rooms and even seclusion intervention spaces — all districts reported that the rooms are used as a last resort and never are used for discipline.“Sometimes, students have difficulty controlling themselves,” said Denny Waters, director of special education for Battle Ground Public Schools. “Students can lose it. They punch, kick, scream, yell. Using the room is a way to help the student calm down and to get control of their emotions.”Tight regulationsAll special education students must have an Individualized Education Program, or IEP, but only some IEPs include an aversion therapy plan that involves the possible use of a calming room. State regulations require schools to follow strict guidelines in using these spaces. Parents have signed off on the plan in advance, and they must be notified if their child is placed in a room. The staff must be thoroughly trained, and a student in a calming room must be supervised by an adult at all times.Longview School District suspended the use of a padded isolation booth last month at Mint Valley Elementary after a photo of the closet-sized space was posted on Facebook, raising concerns it was being used for punishment.last_img read more