Outraged parents and children are accusing government schools in Chicago of “torturing” thousands of children in so-called “seclusion rooms,” according to an investigation by local media outlets. In many cases, the controversial treatment was reportedly against the law.
Under the measure, children as young as 5, most of whom are classified as disabled, were placed in solitary confinement as a “disciplinary” measure. Inside, they desperately slammed themselves against walls, frantically scratched the windows, screamed for their parents, urinated and defecated on themselves, and more. Often, the children spent hours locked inside.
“The spaces have gentle names: The reflection room. The cool-down room. The calming room. The quiet room,” explained reporters from the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica. “But shut inside them, in public schools across the state, children as young as 5 wail for their parents, scream in anger and beg to be let out.”
The bizarre treatment, known as “isolated timeout,” was legal under Illinois law in cases where the children posed a safety risk to themselves or to others. But there were more than 20,000 reported uses of the practice in the 2017-2018 school year alone, according to government records.
Many of those — at least a third — were a flagrant violation of the law, investigative reporters who sorted through the legal records found. Among the reasons listed in official documents for putting students in solitary confinement were failure to do classwork, spilling milk, throwing toys, using foul language, and so on.
“Please someone respond to me,” cried one child locked into solitary confinement on January 11, 2018, at the Fresh Start Treatment and Learning Center. “I’m sorry I ripped the paper. I overreacted. … Please just let me out. Is anyone out there?” Another child at a separate school later that year screamed: “I’d rather die! You’re torturing me!”
Defenders of the practice note that many of the children confined in these seclusion rooms are extremely challenging, and that the safety and well-being of others requires extreme measures to keep them under control. In some cases, the students can be violent, even hitting and biting teachers or fellow students.
But critics have lashed out against the practice, arguing that there are more effective ways of controlling troublesome students that locking them into solitary confinement. Almost 20 states prohibit the practice. After the investigation was published, Illinois issued an “Emergency Order” halting the practice there, too, pending legislative action.
The type of problems now being faced in government schools across America are a relatively new phenomenon — especially the enormous scale. They result from a surge in family dysfunction and collapse, the removal of God and morality from the classroom, and from quack teaching pedagogy and the dangerous ideologies that now infect the entire government-school system.
Unless and until the fear of God and proper teaching methods are introduced back into the classroom, enabling society and the embattled family unit to heal from over 50 years of godless indoctrination masquerading as education, the horrific problems seen in Illinois will continue to grow. Children will continue to bear the brunt of it, too.