A Longview woman whose son saw an isolation box in use at Mint Valley Elementary School has published photos of the box on the Internet, prompting the school's principal to send a letter home to parents Tuesday.
“We are concerned, because obviously we care about kids and their well-being and safety, and it can be easily misunderstood or misconstrued and seem alarming,” said district spokeswoman Sandy Catt. “That is a source of concern for us.”
The parent was concerned that the booth was being used as punishment for minor misbehavior as witnessed by her son, who was in detention in the same room but was not placed in the booth.
Catt said the booth is not used for punishment, but to de-escalate disruptive or aggressive behaviors of eight or nine special education students at the school, with approval of their parents. The booth, which is in the special education room, is padded inside and contains peep holes to allow staff to look inside.
It has been in use at Mint Valley for four years and was used prior to that at Columbia Heights Elementary School, Catt said.