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What Seclusion Rooms Look Like

Columbus Dispatch visual journalist Courtney Hergesheimer traveled to schools around Ohio as part of StateImpact Ohio and The Dispatch’s reporting on the use of seclusion rooms in Ohio schools. Her video, narrated by Dispatch reporter Jennifer Smith Richards, shows what some of the seclusion rooms we visited look like. Some have tile floors; other have [...]

Our Neighbors in Kentucky Approve State Policy Limiting Use of Seclusion Rooms

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr The Kentucky State Board of Education voted today to sharply limit the use of seclusion and restraint in public schools. The Kentucky policy would also require schools to tell parents when seclusion and restraint are used. Kentucky did not previously regulate the use of seclusion and restraint in public schools. Ohio [...]

Locked Away: Teachers Have Seclusion Rooms, But Not Training In Their Use

Teachers in schools across Ohio that have seclusion rooms get little training in how to use the rooms. Teacher-preparation colleges don’t extensively cover how to seclude a student with special needs, either. But even without special training — and in many cases, no district procedure to follow — teachers are putting children in seclusion rooms in [...]

Locked Away: Some Schools Don’t Use Seclusion Rooms

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 [...]

Locked Away: Students Say Seclusion Doesn’t Help

Brendon Spencer says his old public school, Crestwood Elementary in Mantua, used a spare office as an impromptu seclusion room. He says being ignored by teachers and taken out of class to "cool down" only made him more upset.

Ohio students are regularly taken out of class and put into separate rooms, known as seclusion rooms. Educators and special needs advocates alike agree that these rooms should only be used when a child is in danger of hurting themselves or others around them, but an investigation by StateImpact Ohio and The Columbus Dispatch found [...]

Locked Away: See Which Ohio Schools Use Seclusion Rooms

Schools across Ohio, in rural, suburban and urban areas, use seclusion rooms.

The Columbus Dispatch and StateImpact Ohio surveyed 100 Ohio school districts, charter schools and educational service centers on the use of seclusion rooms in their buildings. We found 39 of those 100 districts used seclusion rooms. Only thirteen had policies governing their use. Use this table to find out where your district stands.

Locked Away: How to Find Out if Your School Has Seclusion Rooms

Locked Away Columbus Dispatch StateImpact Logos combined

StateImpact Ohio and The Columbus Dispatch used Ohio’s public records law to get answers on the use of seclusion rooms in Ohio public schools. You can do the same. To investigate seclusion rooms in Ohio schools, we filed records requests with 100 public school districts, charter schools and state agencies. (Here’s our story about what we [...]

Locked Away: Read Seclusion Room Logs From Ohio Schools

Seclusion room log screenshot

The Columbus Dispatch and StateImpact Ohio requested logs of seclusion rooms’ use from 100 school districts across Ohio as part of our reporting on seclusion rooms. The logs show that the rooms are often used for their intended purpose: to calm or restrain children who become violent. But they also show that the rooms are misused. Here [...]

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