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Charter School Puts Kids in “Nightmare” Room Called “Calm Down Room”

Nightmareroom

By Yolanda Spivey

A charter school located in Washington Heights, New York is coming under great scrutiny for the way they choose to discipline children who misbehave.

KIPP Star Washington Heights Elementary School is being accused of detaining two young boys in a room that is so small, that it’s been described as a small walk-in closet.  The so-called “calm-down” room is equipped with a soft mat that sits on the floor and a single light that hangs from the ceiling. The room’s only window is 2×3 and sits on the door allowing staff members to look in.  The students are usually placed in the room for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

The two boys, one kindergartner and a first grader, were reportedly traumatized after they were locked in the room.  Their parents claim they suffered from anxiety after this unusual punishment.

One mother, Teneka Hall, told the Daily News, “He (her child) was crying hysterically.  It’s no way to treat a child.”

Her son was rushed to the hospital after suffering from an anxiety attack from being locked in the room.  Teneka immediately pulled him out of KIPP and enrolled him in another school.

Another parent, Richard Betonces Sr. said his son suffered from the same fate minus the visit to the emergency room.

Betonces stated, “It was like being locked in jail. He was crying every day, scared he was going back.  It’s made his mother depressed as well. It’s a terrible thing.”

He further told the Daily News that his son now suffers from panic attacks.

The Daily News points out that “state law requires that children placed in a time-out setting be in a space where they can be seen and heard ‘continuously,’ but it does not require adults to be in the room where children are stashed.”

Josh Zoia, KIPP NYC Superintendent said, “Like most schools we use time-outs as a way to make sure students remain safe. The calm-down room is used only as part of a behavior plan which was both developed in collaboration with and approved by the parents.”

School officials state that the padded chambers were created on the advice of child psychologists, and further, they discussed using the tactic with the parents beforehand.

For now, state education officials will reach out to KIPP to discuss this matter further.

 

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8 thoughts on “Charter School Puts Kids in “Nightmare” Room Called “Calm Down Room”

  1. Tiffanie D

    These types of situations are why I have opposed charter schools…..as replacements for public schools. You are giving people permission to treat our kids any way they want to treat them…with no accountability. Lets fix our public schools..and vote people in offices that will take interest in our public schools.

    Reply
  2. Redbone

    I don’t exactly know who came up with a time-out room that looks like a d@mn padded cell. That criminal activity plain and simple, programing our children for prison life, a type of slavery… really!!! Bunch of a$$-holes…
    Every child is different, some children have different medical disorders that cause them to act out in certain matters. But let’s make this real easy: *When teachers have bad days put their a$$ in the d@mn time-out tank, because that is exactly what it is. Children are human too just like the teachers are. If the child goes to time-out send the teachers too.

    Reply
  3. Redbone

    I am totally against this whole system, that’s why all black children should be “HOME SCHOOLED” period, end of subject…

    PS: I was a Home School parent, best thing I’ve ever done for my child. Her turned out to be a very very mannerable young man, age 23 sergent in the military with stripes and many certificates. Has a positive head on his shoulders, very very strong leader type..

    Reply
  4. Kiesha makins

    WE AS BLACK PEOPLE HAVE NO SPECIAL PLACE THERES NO TIME CHAIR NONE OF THAT JUST GET YO ASS BEAT WIT A BELT OR WATEVA ELSE MITE BE AROUND OKKKK AN AT SCL THIS US UNCALLD FOR U CALL ME THE PARENT IF UTS THATS BADD IJS

    Reply
  5. dre

    The parents are lying about the effects of this quiet room. Quiet rooms are used for when your child becomes unsafe towards themselves and the students around them. Those kids have a right to go to school as well as the kids that DO know how to sit down in class have a right to be safe. Parents need to teach their kids some discipline and stop dumping their ridculous children on the school and then critisizing the school for how they redirect unbelievable behavior.

    Reply
  6. TS

    As an educator, parents have to understand your child has to respect that there is a safe learning envIronment for everyone. You wonder why your child is not learning in school, because teachers can not spend an hour trying to discipline your child which is taking away from other students whose parents taught them the importance of receiving an education. Same ol stuff! Parents have to blame someone else because they have poor parenting skills.
    Also, when it comes to the prison system, you need to educate yourself as an adult so that you can teach your children who they are and how to conduct themselves. Begin this assignment by reading progressive books writtenby progressive thinkers.

    Reply

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