All jokes about school being like prison should cease now, because it turns out that it's true. The controversy began after Anna Bate found out from her son that Mint Valley Elementary School in Longview, WA, had been utilizing a padded "isolation chamber" to deal with students with "behavioral disabilities." In other words, the school is throwing kids in solitary confinement. Bate obtained photos and posted them Facebook, which sparked the interest and anger of the media.
According to the school, the box is used for "therapeutic" purposes, and that children with special needs were only placed inside with permission from their parents. According to Candace Dawson, her son was placed inside without her permission. Dawson says her son referred to it as the "naughty room" before she filed a formal complaint. Another mother sent KATU News a letter claiming that her son was put inside of the box without her permission.
Bate said that her son was "distraught" after being forced to sit inside of the booth for four hours as punishment for "roughhousing" on the playground. The boy claims he saw several other students being placed inside, which means the practice of throwing kids in the booth is not exclusive to special situations, or children with behavioral issues.
The isolation box is being used at dozens of other local school districts, including Reynolds, Hillsboro, and Battle Ground. These schools are throwing kids in solitary. Is recess the equivalent of the yard, and the time between classes general population?