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ACLU To Board Of Education: Phase Out Seclusion Rooms

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the Ohio Department of Education to phase out seclusion rooms. Earlier this year, an investigation by Ohio public radio stations and the Columbus Dispatch found many Ohio schools misuse or overuse seclusion rooms. Those are small rooms or even closets intended to temporarily hold unruly students. The investigation began after a Columbus woman reported her autistic son was locked away for hours and forced to lie in a puddle of his own urine. The state Department of Education does not have any policy governing seclusion rooms, but has issued a draft policy. A letter from the ACLU says the rooms should be phased out within three years. It says there are much better methods for student intervention and, until the rooms are phased out, the ACLU urges the Board of Education to require post-seclusion meetings with parents. Telling parents is now optional.