Investigation Reveals School Workers Have Been Illegally Isolating Children
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Investigation Reveals School Workers Have Been Illegally Isolating Children

A new investigation reveals that children
in Illinois are being locked away, terrified and alone at schools for reasons that often
violate the law. RTs Brigida Santos joins me now from LA to
talk about it. First of all, Brigida, why are children being
isolated at schools to begin with? What, what’s this story about? Well, children are often sent into isolation
as a form of timeout. In Illinois, it’s legal for school employees
to put children in a separate room if they pose a safety threat to themselves or others. But a new investigation of timeout logs reveals
that school workers in at least 100 districts have been isolating children’s for reasons
that are not legally permitted, including swearing, spilling milk, and refusing to do
assignments, for example. So far, journalists have tallied up over 20,000
incidents between the fall of 2017 through December of 2018. Now, out of those only 12,000 reports were
detailed enough to determine what prompted seclusion and in 42% of those cases, no safety
concern was even documented. You know, ProPublica looked at this and the
numbers that they reviewed are startling. You talked about some of those numbers, but
what they found was a pretty ugly pattern. And they say they’re supposed to be somebody
standing outside the room when these children are isolated in basically padded rooms, taking
notes about what’s happening minute to minute. But the problem is nobody’s reviewing those
notes. And that brings me to the question, how old
are these children and, and how did they react to being locked up? What, what are some of the stories here? Must be pretty bad. ProPublica did an entire exposé on this story. Yes, so many of these children are as young
as five years old and according to the timeout logs, most of the students who end up in isolation
are either physically or mentally disabled or suffer from behavioral disorders like autism. Now because adults are legally required to
stand outside the door and write down what happens, as you said, we know that in isolation
students have injured themselves while scratching at the windows and tearing at padded walls. They’ve even thrown their bodies against locked
doors, hit their heads and gotten bruises. Their hands have bled from banging on the
doors and in some cases they’ve even wet their pants. Now the median time that students have been
kept in isolation is 26 minutes, but some of these students have been locked up for
hours or been locked up on multiple occasions. Records also reveal the heartbreaking things
that some of these kids have said during seclusion. For example, one child screamed, I’d rather
die, you’re torturing me, while in isolated timeout. Workers and teachers say that seclusion helps
keep everyone in class safe. They also claim that it helps children learn
to calm themselves down. But in 2012 the US department of education
warned against seclusion saying it’s dangerous and that there’s absolutely no evidence that
it reduces behavioral issues and special education experts agree. They say isolation has no therapeutic or educational
value and that it can actually traumatize children. Well, you know, a lot of States use isolation. I mean this is, I understand this is being
looked at right now and it should be with these stories, but it seems like this is a
little bit wider than just Illinois. I mean, if these incidents are illegal, why
isn’t anybody cracking down on the practice to begin with? I mean, why is this even taking place? Yeah, it’s not strictly happening in Illinois. Now, at least 19 States though, have banned
seclusion. But there are no federal laws regulating the
practice. And even though Illinois school workers are
legally required to file those detailed reports about the incidents, no one’s required to
read them, which means that state education officials are not monitoring these types of
timeouts. People are now questioning whether our tax
dollars should fund schools that illegally lock up children. So hopefully this investigation will raise
awareness and result in some much needed systemic changes. Well, and to me, you can’t miss this. You can’t miss this point about the story. This isn’t just the average child that misbehaves. These children have all kinds of disabilities. They’re mixed up with kids that are also put
into these same rooms. So they’re just, just behavioral problems. So this, this goes beyond just trying to correct
behavioral problems. These are children that have some real fundamental
disabilities and that’s, that’s easy to miss in this story. Anyway, Brigida, thank you for joining me. Okay. Thanks, Mike.

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48 thoughts on “Investigation Reveals School Workers Have Been Illegally Isolating Children

  1. This is just more proof that our governments doesn't give a damn about the students. They're literally treating like violent criminals.

  2. This has been going on for decades. Back in the late 70's early 80's I was part of the isolation. All kids considered as having 'conduct disorder' were put in a room together and sat there all day. with nothing to do. Teachers have been abusive towards students for a very long time.

  3. I’m not surprised at any of this…. Look at are government look at children even much younger than school-age, like in them up alone behind Bars in Concentration camps

  4. lol. i spent grades 1-4 alone. seriously.
    i was special. i got to go play alone, by a fuckin creek, on top of an abandoned playground, for 3 hours a day every day for 4 years.
    i wasnt allowed in the classroom until after lunch. because i kept calling all my classmates retarded and shit and laughing at em because they were all so stupid.
    thats a true story. they were all idiots. ahhh… the good old days.

  5. In the headstart program in my state, they have a little tent with open windows to be used to help calm children, instead of putting them apart in pure isolation. But if a child is biting, kicking, throwing things that can injure other children, the parents must be called to pick up their children and have some other appropriate educational options.

  6. I have Asperger syndrome, when I was at the school they didn’t know what it was, nor did they know about dyslexia, which I also have. I spent a great deal of time in the hallway isolated from the rest of the class. For me, there were times that I wanted to be in the hallway, because I was so scared and confused by a classroom full of 40 children that I did not understand.

  7. Seclusion only makes behaviour worse. Teachers engagement and the love for children is what we need in our teachers.

  8. YES, this is occurring. My younger child had this done to him, in a HOT sealed room when he has heat intolerance & after THEY provoked his behavior by not following IEP over & over. My child now has School Aversion/Anxiety due to what has been done to him by adults bullying/abusing him in 3 schools in DG Dist. 58, Kingsley especially where a tenured teacher who was allowed to retire 06/2019, along with school superintendent who resigned 06/2019 did nothing to help except to kick it back to the school. 01/2017 that tenured teacher pulled child back into her room hitting his head on a metal door frame, shortly there after the only 2 I communicated with were the school nurse & then principle, both left for "personal" reasons, the Principle shortly after this incident & the school nurse did not return the following year. Then in 11/2018 child had his hair pulled by a T.A. in the presence of the School Psy., that tenured teacher & other T.A.'s with a comment made that he needed a better attitude. He was sitting at his desk when this occurred waiting for the bus. This occurred after he had brain surgery & when I pointed all this out, then they ALL denied culpability & claimed he was patted on the head, not on the side of surgery & given a complement. Child is classified as honest to a fault even telling on himself…& these are the people that are teaching honesty??? The cover your ass mentality is rampant in this district NO Cameras in Kingsley SPED, no audio in the others. Child is currently on his 3rd homebound tutoring due to this occurring in District 58 with no one helping us. EX would not believe his own child either & this school showed bias against myself being the advocating parent & would ONLY advise child to have a good weekend when going to Ex's. Child pointed these things out as well as having his drink dumped out, denied his necessary containers to bring home for the following day, etc., done under the rule of that tenured teacher &/or by her own hand.
    This "tenured teacher" came into the SSA office where I was with child, ignored me, went to child & said "HI" & he screamed, darted out the door & was halfway around the building crying, panicking, scared…this is not the response of a child that is not being abused/bullied by this tenured teacher. I looked at her & said sternly, "Leave him be!" More recently one of the T.A.'s came into Jewel where I was checking out with child sitting on bench & his response was the same running & hiding behind a display in Jewel crying & panicking… I felt the need to explain that he had been abused/bullied by the adults in school.
    The school knows I am indigent (due to having to fill out forms), am physically disabled, my child's only advocate, etc., so I feel not only are they abusing/bullying him but myself as well as they appear to pick & choose what medical conditions to accept &/or they say one thing & do another even though aspects are put in the IEP.
    So much more has occurred besides this that it all compounds as there are ways to provoke a Special Ed child. It is VERY SAD that my child does not feel safe! Even the transportation for SASED & DG Dist. 58 contracted transportation (Aurora Naper) were not following IEP. Then when I transport the child, child starts to get abused/bullied in SASED. Guiding Light was no better shortly after child started even though it started out okay. The only common denominator is the assistant superintendent for special services of DG Dist. 58 &/or others connections.  This is DIRECT TARGETING!!!
    I submitted emails to those who were Board Members at that time & none of them responded to me! Keeping in mind that the tenured teacher's husband was on the Legislative Board of the DG Dist. 58, or so it appeared.
    Nothing is meant to be false, misleading, misinformation, accusatory, et al.

  9. The goal of this is to teach the one being tortured that they are a lesser being, and that they must worship their Übermensch betters.

    The further truth, however, is that the whole of society – and doubly so if you're disabled – runs on Dominance, Power, and Control.

  10. sounds like what we called the in school suspension rooms in middle school it wasn't padded or anything it was a room just big enough to hold a desk it was called the in school suspension room cus some kids would have to spend days in there a secretary would bring any homework from your missed classes at the end of the day homework was all u was aloud to do if you were found reading or doodling they'd take everything away

  11. Yet again Amerikkka proves itself to still be executing slavery in many ways. Amerikkka is not free in any sense

  12. i remember when i was in kindergarden so i'd say this was (1985) i'm 41 by the way, i forget what i did but i had to stay in the hallway at a desk all day long while everyone went to the Zoo. it was detention but i can still picture that hallway and this was over 30 years ago. my teachers never beat me or anything like that, but in 4th grade i had detention once and my teacher screamed at me cause i wasn't listening i have ADD by the way as well.

    but on that as tough as that way it was well worth it cause her voice was hoarse the next day. a friend of mine puts their kids in a corner for 5 or 10 minutes if they are bad though never for 26 minutes or anything that long. on how much staff doesn't listen to me on a field trip in 3rd grade a student on the bus on the way there broke my finger and i'm in tears & a teacher is right in front of me and just is ignoring me and did nothing at all man was i pissed about it and i'm still pissed and this is 30 years later!

  13. It's so wrong, Trump and his cronies locked up children in cages and they are still there, do u think they care about these children? No!!

  14. School in TN they say because they are ADD OR ADHD and didn't get there meds. It's say. They call them the piece room.

  15. It has been documented that ignoring or neglecting a child has the same effects on the psychology and the same regions of the brain as actual abuse. And obviously ignoring in an extreme sense, not ignoring your childs constant scream for icecream.

  16. I've worked with and around children, primarily as an asst preschool teacher. I've seen plenty of separation used, but never outright isolation such as described. It's one thing to separate a misbehaving child and still keep them as "part of the group" but unable to participate. Its quite another to lock one away in so-called "quiet rooms" and the like, which i've personally seen in my own elementary and middle schools, granted this was nearly two decades ago, showing this problem is not as new as some would like to believe.

  17. This is sickening. Why don't they do what the evil principal from Roald Dahl's Matilda did by locking them in a "chokey".

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