Senators Demand Schools End 'Scream Rooms' For Troubled Kids


One of the educators consulted by the committee in crafting new legislation to address concerns about school seclusion, said there are better, safer ways to handle unruly children. Dr. Michael George, Director of the Centennial School in Bethlehem, Penn., said the use of seclusion rooms and restraining techniques are largely unnecessary.

"I can't imagine anything more frustrating as a parent than having a child who has problems and the people you send your child to are making matters worse," George told ABC News.

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He said the new legislation would place an emphasis on parents' right to know what disciplinary methods are being used on their children.

"It's going to take an enormous amount of training and awareness," he said. "We need stronger regulations in place to force the issue of training. I don't know that waiting for teachers and administrators to educate themselves on this issue is going to happen. And that's where the real value of this legislation is going to come."

Sheila Foster, whose 16-year-old son Corey Foster was killed after being restrained by staff members of his Yonkers, New York school because he allegedly refused to leave the basketball court, said she is glad efforts to create a national standard for discipline are continuing.

"I would like to see an end to the use of restraint," Foster said. "My son died as a result of being restrained and while nothing's going to change his death, ending restraint would make it better for other children."

Leslie Noyes' eight-year-old son was secluded in a small, padded "scream room" for hours at a time on numerous occasions in his former Phoenix, Ariz. elementary classroom.

"There are more restrictions and regulations in hospitals and in mental institutions on how people are treated, so why not for our children in schools," Noyes remarked. "It's never ok to lock a child up in seclusion."

Noyes advises other parents to remain aware about what's going on in their children's school. "I encourage parents to ask their schools if they have a policy on restraint and seclusion and for the school to give it to them in writing," Noyes said. "I also tell parents to put in writing that the school does not have permission to put their child in seclusion or to restrain them."

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