When I wrote in my book about the schools being prisons and treating children worse than prisoners of war, I was dead serious. But, even I wasn’t fully aware of what goes on in many Illinois schools (and, rest assured, other states too). This is one of the most damning reports I have ever read on the subject.
The spaces have gentle names: The reflection room. The cool-down room. The calming room. The quiet room.
But shut inside them, in public schools across the state, children as young as 5 wail for their parents, scream in anger and beg to be let out.
The students, most of them with disabilities, scratch the windows or tear at the padded walls. They throw their bodies against locked doors. They wet their pants. Some children spend hours inside these rooms, missing class time. Through it all, adults stay outside the door, writing down what happens.
In Illinois, it’s legal for school employees to seclude students in a separate space — to put them in “isolated timeout” — if the students pose a safety threat to themselves or others. Yet every school day, workers isolate children for reasons that violate the law, an investigation by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois has found.
Children were sent to isolation after refusing to do classwork, for swearing, for spilling milk, for throwing Legos. School employees use isolated timeout for convenience, out of frustration or as punishment, sometimes referring to it as “serving time.”
Of course, some fools want to run to other government criminals for help. B’rer Fox, Br’er Wolf… Homeschool or die. Serving time? Why haven’t the police arrested these child abusers?! These monsters deserve to be rounded up, chained together, doused in oil, and burned alive. Just damn!