"It was more than shock. It was pure mortification," her father later testified
during a legal proceeding. "We saw her hitting herself in the head. We saw her
just looking like a wild animal, essentially, for well over an hour, someone who
had just lost all control of herself and all hope."
I'd never even heard of timeout rooms before this story. Apparently, they're in use all over the state. They're just what you think they are - solitary confinement for children. The girl in this story asked to go to the bathroom and was denied. She tried at least 10 times to sit in the "body basics" position for the required 5 minutes, but every time she fidgeted, she was told she would have to start the count over. She wet her pants during her confinement, and still wasn't allowed to leave.
Kevin Took, a psychiatrist at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, said he
deals with children who have been severely traumatized.Took testified that he
did not see anything traumatic about Isabel's videotaped timeout, even though
she wet her pants. Urination and defecation are fairly common issues with
children with autism spectrum disorders, he said.
While she is autistic, this is a child able to ask for a restroom break and function without accidents every day at school. This guy is supposed to be an expert in traumatic situations. Anyone who has ever been to school knows how traumatic wetting your pants can be. Her autism is no excuse for this abuse.
Records show Isabel was in timeout for 100 sessions between September and
December 2005, for as many as five sessions in a single school day, and
sometimes for an hour or more.
This whole article was maddening and horrifying. Especially this part:
As a result, Waukee is not bound to change the way it uses timeout rooms.Because
it was an administrative hearing, the Loefflers cannot seek damages, although
they could seek reimbursement for their $80,000 in legal fees. They also have
the right to sue for damages in civil court.There was no penalty for the school
Jesus Christ. "I'm glad we homeschool" isn't good enough this time. What about all those kids continuing to spend time in isolation rooms? Did anyone else even know they used these? Are homeschoolers still making an unfair comparison when we say public schools are like prisons?