As a lifelong educator, I am appalled and embarrassed by the incident involving the 8-year-old girl at Pierce Elementary School. We would not treat an animal that way.
In my lifetime working with ages from preschool to mature adults, never once did I find it necessary or have the desire to confine someone in this manner. This incident as described in the paper and heard on television is child abuse. Children as well as adults can be claustrophobic. Did anyone think of that possibility? If this incident would have been happened in a private preschool or child care center, the Department of Human Services would have been on the scene quickly. At least four regulations mandated by the State of Iowa were violated. Where was the school principal during this time? Where is the school district leadership with this issue? It was noted that one executive director from the Leadership Center went to Pierce later, while another executive issued an email.
Why do some of the schools have seclusion rooms and some do not? It seems inconsistent, but then this whole idea of seclusions rooms seems like a “loose cannon” that no one has addressed or has a handle on. But, happily they have found a solution, appoint a committee. Better yet, call it a task force, since that sounds better.
Lowell A. Rutz