Oklahoma schools are still using a controversial punishment technique for special needs children, and the method has caused some parents to pull their kids out of school. Many of these same parents have been led to call the police or take legal action.
As Oklahoma Watch reports, some schools in Oklahoma are still resorting to seclusion rooms to punish intractable students. Seclusion rooms are small rooms, sometimes closets, where children are placed when they aren’t behaving. The rooms are sometimes euphemistically referred to as “blue rooms,” “cool-down rooms” or “de-escalation rooms.” The seclusion technique is generally linked students with special needs but isn’t used with them exclusively.
According to a 2009 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, students in seclusion rooms nationwide have been injured, traumatized and even died.
Some Oklahoma teachers have defended the rooms, saying they are only used in extreme circumstances with violent students.