Time out room, prison cell, potato potahto

Miramar Primary School in Wellington was investigated by the Ministry of Education after an 11-year-old boy was discovered locked in a room the size of a cupboard in July, distraught and alone, the NZ Herald reports.

The investigation found the child, who is autistic and has the intellectual age of a toddler, had been placed in the room 13 times in nine days for behaviour including grabbing people.

The school posted on its Facebook page that the room is no longer in use.

A communication from the board and staff would be sent to parents on Monday and could be picked up earlier at the school office, the board said.

There are several comments on the page expressing disgust at the use of the room.

One person said she was willing to hear both sides of the story after receiving an email about the matter but the email did not disclose the severity of the issue.

“I don’t lock my children in a dark room with no way out when they misbehave at home and I sure as hell would not expect anybody else to discipline my child in the manner without my knowledge!!”, the comment said.

In other schools they sit on the floor in the corridor waiting to be seen. ? At least this way the little imp couldn’t take off and was essentially safe. ?

The ministry became aware of this situation on July 25 when the parent made contact and immediately contacted the school.

“We commissioned an independent review of the time out room and met with the principal and board chair. We strongly recommended the school discontinue the use of the time out room,” he said.

The ministry is continuing to work with the school and has also appointed an educational psychologist to work to implement new strategies for students.

“We know there are still a number of schools around the country that do occasionally use these rooms and Miramar Central has been one of them,” Mr Wales said.

Schools are not obliged to report the use of such rooms and the law doesn’t specifically prohibit the use of time out rooms.

Problem is easily solved. ?Make the room multi-use, like make it a secondary sick bay. ?And say it is lockable for the child’s safety and privacy.


– NZN via Yahoo! News