Mint Valley principal issues letter in response to concern over isolation box

2012-11-27T20:15:00Z 2013-04-01T15:48:13Z Mint Valley principal issues letter in response to concern over isolation boxBy The Daily News Longview Daily News
November 27, 2012 8:15 pm  • 

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.

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(48) Comments

  1. coytleen
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    coytleen - November 27, 2012 9:18 pm
    Does it seem odd that a child was sent to a special ed class room for detention? were they trying to scare him? I bet he was thinking how long til I am in "the box"?
  2. Red Klovers
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    Red Klovers - November 27, 2012 9:21 pm
    Doesn't detention happen in a schools office???? Why in the world would anyone place a child in a special ed class for a regular detention? If in fact there is any proof of detention or is the school just covering themselves on this, because really the visual of this contraption and that any child is placed in it is so alarming I don't have the right words for it. Sounds like there is more of problem with the control factors of the adults in charge then actually the children!
  3. 8CES11
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    8CES11 - November 27, 2012 10:19 pm
    Some students may need to take a "sensory break", they are sensitive to noise, activity, etc. Other kids may have behavior issues and need to calm down so they don't disrupt others. In those cases I can agree with using this room. Where I can't agree is the use of it to put the child aside instead of providing the instruction time they are required to provide. The room at Coweeman is used that way. There should be a time limit on its use, not leaving a child in the room for long periods of time
  4. babyz65
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    babyz65 - November 27, 2012 10:56 pm
    I understand that there are situations that become unruley, but the idea of being put into a box that has a couple small peep holes in it, seems really "old school", and is something you would find in some old phyciatric institution. My closterphobia kicks in just seeing this picture. I cant imagine this being a good idea for anyone, especially a child.........
  5. No Nickname
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    No Nickname - November 27, 2012 11:26 pm
    Here comes hundreds of comments about how horrible this "time-out booth" is, but unless you have a child that gets aggressive or violent and can hurt themselves or others (including other children), then NONE of you have a place to judge, period.
  6. Dannii
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    Dannii - November 27, 2012 11:37 pm
    I am astounding by the fact, that those that don't have special needs children can call this abuse! There are standards and protocols for using " the time out booth" and the are ALWAYS followed! NO there is not a lock on it, and it is very well padded! My son who was in that Sped class is upset because in his words " it's not abusive to put me in there, it helps me calm down when my brain isn't working and I'm out of control" Why don't we look at WHY a non sped student was in the Sped room?
  7. Atrucker
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    Atrucker - November 28, 2012 6:29 am
    Well we could go back to sority paddles that will raise your butt off the floor . but no some where we outlawed capitol punid=sment , and now we have kids packing gune =s in school. IN my day we got hacks for being sstupid and it worked out ok. heck we used ti bring our hunting gund=s to school then go hunting aafter school. Boy that woild never happen now ,
    I say bring back the hack paddles preheps , it will bring back son=me sense too,
  8. bretharte
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    bretharte - November 28, 2012 7:34 am
    Use it!
  9. Hawaiin_surf
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    Hawaiin_surf - November 28, 2012 8:19 am
    All I have to say is I wouldn't approve of that. Maybe if the teachers and staff would just try to be more friendly with special education students and not talk down to them. If they just made it more fun and not act like such dorks maybe the students wouldn't act out???? I have been out in town and seen kids with down syndrome or other disabilites and seen how they are treated by the person that is with them. Yelling and talking firm is not going to help for anyone.
  10. Hawaiin_surf
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    Hawaiin_surf - November 28, 2012 8:24 am
    With most kids with or without disability talking firm or acting like a dork playing head games is just going to make it worse. Most kids will just rebel against you. Why don't you just be cool and order a pizza or something, I am sure the behavior problem will stop. Remember the key word, pizza not "time out Box." Instead order a pizza or turn on the radio and I am sure this will work.
  11. Hawaiin_surf
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    Hawaiin_surf - November 28, 2012 8:25 am
    The problem is the adults are a bunch of mental cases and in my opinion need to sit in the time out box and looked at through little holes!
  12. No Nickname
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    No Nickname - November 28, 2012 9:39 am
    Schhol says he was in detention, his mother (who posted this on facebook) says he wasnt. Makes you wonder who is really telling the truth because if he wasnt in detention as she claims, why was he in that room? Secondly, he wasnt put in the isolation room, so why the outrage? There seems to be more to the story than this mom is telling.
  13. No Nickname
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    No Nickname - November 28, 2012 9:41 am
    It is for those on the autism spectrum and those you get violent when they have episodes. Those who havent raised special needs children wont get it. This is NOT used for punishment and this mother feigning outrage over it even admits her son wasnt in it, he just saw it.
  14. Leslie Slape
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    Leslie Slape - November 28, 2012 10:06 am
    To those who have questioned why the boy was sent to this particular classroom, I am trying to find this out. He said he was told to go to this classroom because of roughhousing at morning recess and he remained there from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  15. verata
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    verata - November 28, 2012 10:24 am
    Are you for real? We're talking about children with diagnosed, medical disabilities. You think buying them a pizza will bring them back down to earth during a manic episode?
  16. chiffonette87
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    chiffonette87 - November 28, 2012 10:25 am
    Hawaiin_surf, with all due respect if you have not gone through the curriculum that a Special Ed teacher learns before being certified you have NO place in telling someone to 'order a pizza' when behavior is escalating.
  17. mamagonecrzy
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    mamagonecrzy - November 28, 2012 10:57 am
    Just wow... Children with certain special needs sometimes need time and space to decompress. It can be very helpful for them to have noise & bright light cut down. My oldest has sensory integration disorder, a set up like this is almost a necessity some days! Until you have spent a day with one of these kids & learn what they need you have no place judging! Besides, the parents of the kids who do use this have given the school permission so why does anyone else feel it is any of their business!
  18. CougarGrad
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    CougarGrad - November 28, 2012 11:13 am
    @ HawaiinSurf.......Really, order a pizza! Obviously, you have NO clue. Educated yourself before speaking. I am a teacher, located in a district that uses a "time out" booth; it is effective and protects all involved....staff and students.
  19. No Nickname
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    No Nickname - November 28, 2012 11:27 am
    I remember years and years ago doing a detention at Cascade in the special ed room. Depends on staff availability.
  20. No Nickname
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    No Nickname - November 28, 2012 11:28 am
    Not always. Depends on staff availability
  21. mamagonecrzy
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    mamagonecrzy - November 28, 2012 11:33 am
    If that is true THAT is a reason for questioning the school. Not the tools used for spec ed kids with informed parents.
  22. Voltboy1
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    Voltboy1 - November 28, 2012 11:33 am
    Schools are so underfunded right now and the special ed department always gets the wrong end of the stick when there are cuts made. For a teacher with an aide to handle a very disruptive child is extremely difficult and upsets the rest of the children. I see the need to put them into a safe isolated area but I think it should be a bigger room with a built in seating area for child and aide to stay in there together and a proper safety glass window. Who actually proposed and allowed this cubicle?
  23. Hawaiin_surf
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    Hawaiin_surf - November 28, 2012 1:07 pm
    I educate myself with my own personal expriences not charts and graphs. Want some pizza?
  24. beerman
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    beerman - November 28, 2012 1:46 pm
    we spank our kids its bad.we put our kids in a room with the door shut its the school does it and its ok?our government is so wonderful.this should be considered a form of child me its concidered abuse..but hey if this is ok then i guess there needs to be a protest at the school..and every other school...but then again it might be ok because the union wanted it...
  25. Hawaiin_surf
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    Hawaiin_surf - November 28, 2012 1:55 pm
    I am sorry but putting someone with manic episodes in a padded room with nothing but little holes, your just asking for trouble. And yes someone with manic episodes can have moods that change from one minute to the next and sometimes the taste and smell of something can trigger a mood change. Being locked up with someone like you would send anyone into a violent rage
  26. Hawaiin_surf
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    Hawaiin_surf - November 28, 2012 2:03 pm
    And I speak from personal experience from living in the real world not reading charts and graphs. Not everyone is the same, every child and adult are different so just because this padded room works on one or two people or because it was in some study doesn't mean it will work with everyone. And one child could be put in there and as the result could take off their pants tie them around there neck and strangle theirself so unless you have educated youself don't tell me to educate myself.
  27. Hawaiin_surf
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    Hawaiin_surf - November 28, 2012 2:08 pm
    Is pepperoni ok?....LOL
  28. Hawaiin_surf
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    Hawaiin_surf - November 28, 2012 2:12 pm
    I think alot of people thought they were using it on all the kids for just talking in class.
  29. nana2012
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    nana2012 - November 28, 2012 3:30 pm
    this just makes me sick, you can justify it anyway you want, but it is still wrong, what is wrong with people these days? it is not funny, cute or a joke....whoever thinks it is are just as bad as the school and stff who are doing this to these wounder our youth rebel so much..God help you all.
  30. nana2012
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    nana2012 - November 28, 2012 3:31 pm
    i totaly agree
  31. nana2012
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    nana2012 - November 28, 2012 3:43 pm
    i totaly gree....let then sit in there from 10;30 until 3 ..they are way out of line here.
    someone should look into this and let the public view this, heds would rool
  32. fargsnalt
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    fargsnalt - November 28, 2012 3:44 pm
    As a longview school district employee, I am very well aware of the specific and varied needs students have when they come to us. When you have a child who can become dangerously violent and harmful to other students and adults, it can be necessary to remove them from the situation. This room is for their own protection and for the protection of others around them. As the story stated, this room is only used with prior parental approval.
  33. Hawaiin_surf
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    Hawaiin_surf - November 28, 2012 4:44 pm
    I agree with you
  34. jamie33
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    jamie33 - November 28, 2012 5:58 pm
    Hawaiin surf, you need to spend 5 minutes with a friend of mine who has a severely autistic child. And after that 5 minutes if you still think just ordering a pizza will calm this child down, well, then maybe you have found a new way to deal with these kids. Get real.
  35. PugLife
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    PugLife - November 28, 2012 7:45 pm
    The "box" is a good calming method if someone is having a behavior and by behavior i mean kicking, punching, or biting. If when in the box they continue to hit its good its padded less likely to break an arm or wrist and the peep holes are safer than them beating there hands on the thick glass window you all want!! So your saying if there that big of hazard send them to be home schooled? That's like saying lets not give them the closest possible life to normal as we can, smh at some of you.
  36. PugLife
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    PugLife - November 28, 2012 7:58 pm
    Have you ever worked with an extremely behavioral special needs child? Thats what this box is intended for not just anyones child, yes I hope its not being improperly used for those that don't need it. However it is a good calming method and safe for themselves and others. If they are hitting, kicking or biting this is a good place for them to calm. It's clear you won't be happy with this, or if they attacked your child or grandchild, so what do you suggest? Don't judge if you've never dealt!
  37. longview resident
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    longview resident - November 28, 2012 9:01 pm
    i would think a letter sent home to parents whose children go to a school who are new or unaware of this box should be informed that there is one on school grounds and inform parents what it is used for, this in itself would eliminate the need for posting and talking about this in a negative hard is it to generate a letter and keep on file and hand out with a new enrollment and make the parents aware of the situation, after all they make sure every syudent is aware of the RULES ..
  38. Katydid
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    Katydid - November 29, 2012 6:04 am
    Having worked in an elementary school and been on the safety committee, I can tell you that more claims were turned in from teachers and teachers aides from the Special Ed children biting, hitting, and kicking. What would people be saying if their child were hit, bit, or kicked? I think I know.
  39. Hawaiin_surf
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    Hawaiin_surf - November 29, 2012 11:02 am
    I would say if someone is kicking and biting that is a legitimant reason to use this room but why is it that certain hospitals use it on their psychiatric floor for other mental health issues and as the result someone tries to hang theirself with their bedsheet? I am sorry but that is not ok and hospitals using it as a way to punish someone for being depressed or suicidal because they are catholic and they think suicide is a sin is just sick to me and they should be prosecuted and fired!
  40. Roudyruss
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    Roudyruss - November 29, 2012 1:15 pm
    If a kid is violent enough that he needs to put in a steel box them what the heck is he doing in a public school to begin with?
  41. Monkey69
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    Monkey69 - November 29, 2012 5:35 pm
    My child has been put in that box i didn't not sign permission for him to be put in it. The one thing I do know is my child is adhd and he can be a handful yet when he was at cvg they never had a problem send him to MV and they label him has a bad child. They have also at least to me have given up trying to teach my son like its to much work, but this box is wrong my son says he cant breath when his in it, its dark its doesn't calm him it scares him. What right do they have to scare r kids
  42. booya
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    booya - November 29, 2012 9:41 pm deffely never grew up with kids like these, they can be very high strong and dangerous to themselves and others. When i was in elementary school i'v seen these kids in action. I'v seen them stab kids with pensils, not lightly but hard, down deep and the same kid did it twice with in a year. I'v also seen them give other kids and adults black eyes and bloody noses, this was a little third grader too. I also remember this one broke his arm while swinging his arms around during a fit.
  43. Teacher
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    Teacher - November 30, 2012 1:51 am
    If what you say is true, let the district know. As far as not ever having any problems at another school, I've heard that time and time again and it is usually not true and can be proven either way in report card comments and office referral documentation. Although, as children get older, the problems usually become more obvious and severe. That's my personal opinion, not the opinion of the Longview School District.
  44. getsmart
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    getsmart - December 01, 2012 8:54 am
    Well said!
  45. getsmart
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    getsmart - December 01, 2012 9:04 am
    Hawaiin_surf - Yeah, in the real world - but not this world. It is a whole different ball of wax and you know NOTHING about it. The staff is trained to help kids with severe disorders. True the room doesn't work for everyone and teachers have developed plans for those kids. Those it helps DO benefit from being able to get away from the over stimulating activities going on in the class room. Why don't you volunteer to spend a day in one of these class rooms to see how ignorant you really are.
  46. getsmart
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    getsmart - December 01, 2012 10:42 am
    Because people like you would be up in arms if a child - no matter what the issue- was denied being streamlined into society. You can't have it both ways.
  47. kitten
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    kitten - December 01, 2012 11:53 am
    Haven't any of you people seen a child remove themselves from a situation when they are really angry? Some pull their hoods over their face or go under a blanket. Others run and hide in the closet or go under a table, chair or desk. This is a good thing! It is a healthy way to calm themselves down. Even healthy adults do this. Unfortunately many kids with disabilities do not have the emotional filters to help them make this choice. What would you have the school do? Let them hurt others?
  48. candy
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    candy - December 03, 2012 10:56 am
    If this padded room is so great, then why doesn't every school have one? I don't agree at all, no matter how you try to justify or sugar coat it. Nothing good is going to come out of this room.
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