Seclusion rooms are enclosed spaces that are supposed to be used to calm or restrain children who become violent. In Ohio, no state law governs their use, and the Ohio Department of Education has provided little guidance and virtually no oversight to schools.
An investigation by StateImpact Ohio and The Columbus Dispatch found that seclusion rooms are being misused in Ohio schools, to punish children or simply remove disruptive children from the classroom.
Today The Dispatch asks: “What if there were no seclusion rooms? Is it even possible to go without them?”:
There are schools in other states that serve only children with emotional and behavioral disorders that have banned seclusion and adopted a schoolwide behavior program called Positive Behavior Support. They say it eliminated the need for seclusion rooms. (See this recent testimony before a Congressional committee.)
It’s also worth nothing that the vast majority of schools managed by Ohio’s county boards of developmental disabilities — they serve the most severely disabled children — do not use seclusion.