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School puts troubled kids in 'scream room'

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posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:05 PM

School puts troubled kids in 'scream room'

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Parents, many of whom have children at Farm Hill Elementary School in Middletown, Conn., are outraged about the way the school is dealing with misbehaving students.

Teachers and staff put the children, including those with special needs, in what parents call "scream rooms."

One parent described the rooms as, “scream closets, where kids bang their heads off of concrete walls.”

“The building custodians had to go in and clean blood off the walls and clean urination off the floors,” the parent said.

At a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night, many parents questioned the use of the rooms that the district calls "timeout rooms."

"I learned last year from my daughter that she was put in a closet that had holes in the walls and no windows and (was) locked in there," one mother said.

Jane Majewski said Caleb, her high-functioning autistic son, needs the quiet of the timeout room to calm down, but she understands other parents misgivings.

To address the behavioral issues, Supt. Michael Frechette outlined a plan that would provide additional staff and resources at Farm Hill Elementary.

Frechette directed NBC Connecticut’s questions about the so-called “scream rooms” to Board of Education Chairman Gene Nocera.

"We are looking at it very carefully -- location, how we implement the program, and if corrective actions need to be taken, we will be doing that quickly,” Nocera said.

Nocera and Dr. Frechette will also be at a Farm Hill PTA meeting on Thursday night to further address parents’ concerns.

I find this extremely disturbing. It reminds me of how mental patients were treated back in the day.
Such as this one in Colonial Williamsburg that's now a museum.

The "Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds" was the first building in North America devoted solely to the treatment of the mentally ill. The first patient was admitted October 12, 1773.

By the theories of the day, mental illnesses were diseases of the brain and nervous system, and the mentally ill chose to be irrational. Treatment consisted of restraint, strong drugs, plunge baths and other "shock" water treatment, bleeding, and blistering salves. An electro-static machine was installed. Between 1773 and 1790, about 20 percent of the inmates were discharged as cured.

In 1790, fences 10 feet high and 80 feet long were added to each end to provide exercise yards for both sexes, and staircases were built at the ends of each hall. In 1799, two dungeon-like cells were dug "under the first floor of the hospital for reception of patients who may be in a state of raving phrenzy."

If my child was going to this school, I'd pull them out immediately.
edit on 11-1-2012 by Afterthought because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:10 PM
reply to post by Afterthought

I'm almost conviced we need to start from scratch. Draw up another Declaration of Independence and do it again.I cannot see how we went fro the three 'R's to these hidden psyche wards for our kids. What do we do? It gets worse and worse.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:16 PM
That city/town has a long history of mental illness.

Connecticut Valley Hospital is there. Or what's left of it. Whiting Forensic is there. There are several "youth centers" spread around that city for mentally ill children and teens.

There is a long history of asylums there.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:21 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

I've never heard that before. I'll have to search those out and see what the issue is.
Did Connecticut have any chemical dumping grounds? Did the government or military do any nuclear bomb testing in that area? I find it really strange that one area would be suffering from so much mental illness.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:22 PM
some independant scientist needs to test that water and the vaccines the children are getting.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:27 PM
reply to post by type0civ

You're right. The way schools are handling kids these days is getting worse and worse.
In my opinion, we need to stop medicating for every little tick and outburst just because mom and dad are busy and want peace and quiet. Second, the schools need to come up with better solutions and start training teachers and administrators how to handle kids who are troubled. In what way? I have no idea.

Some schools in Florida are actually going the route of allowing the children to decide what they want to do during the school day. If they want to go outside and catch bugs, that's OK. If they want to play computer games in the morning, then paint a picture after lunch, that's OK, too. I feel that this would work for kids who had mental challenges on both ends of the spectrum, but some kids need structure, so this won't work for all. It could be a start though for the ones who aren't capable of remaining in the traditional school structure.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:30 PM
Just saying, whats better, let the kids get away with screaming and yelling, or punishing them?

I find it very hard to believe its like a jail cell, i think some parents are just getting pissed someone else is punishing their kids differently. Like i say in most threads about public schools, if they do not like it, cough up the dough for private schooling.

I don't want this to turn into a handicap war either, thread people equal, mentally challenged or not, people should all be treated the same or else we are just segregating them more.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:31 PM
reply to post by Afterthought

Not to my knowledge.

From what I have been told it all started as a money-making scheme. The state funnels so many dollars to the city for playing host to the asylum.

It just snowballed from there.

Some towns profit from taking in other towns trash. Some towns profit from selling surplus utilities. And others profit from taking in lunatics and psychopaths.

The state also dumps certain released ex-convicts in the immediate area and the public transit system makes for easy travel around.

That city and the surrounding towns are awash in societies undesirables.

The turning point was about 30 years ago a patient on a day pass stole an xacto kniife from a downtown shop and stabbed some little girl to death in front of hundreds of festival goers. Nobody stepped in to stop the assault. That was the death of that festival. Since then it's been downhill in despair and madness as neighbors shut their doors to neighbors and the state continued to dump psychos and criminals on the streets.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:41 PM
reply to post by Afterthought

Unless they were locked ins I dont see a problem. Im sure we all remember those kids who would do anything to disrupt the class and prevent other students from learning. If you cant behave like a normal student you dont belong by the normal students. If its a special needs student send them to a special needs school. Its not right that every other kid has to lose valuable learning time because of bad parenting or failure to admit that a child needs to go to a special needs school.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:46 PM

Originally posted by type0civ
reply to post by Afterthought

I'm almost conviced we need to start from scratch. Draw up another Declaration of Independence and do it again.I cannot see how we went fro the three 'R's to these hidden psyche wards for our kids. What do we do? It gets worse and worse.

we need to go a lot further than that,

blow it all up and hope the few that survive learn from the past

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:50 PM
reply to post by LongbottomLeaf

I agree, but what I'm also seeing in my state is that they're closing special needs schools left and right.

If they're going to place kids into a 'scream room', it should be monitored with padding on the walls and floor. They should also have an aide inside with padding on to make sure the kid doesn't hurt him/herself and can intervene in the event that the kid does try this. I just can't imagine that it's sanitary to be placing kids in a room where blood and urine has to be cleaned daily. I couldn't imagine being a custodian and stomaching the clean up they're describing in the article.

Another thing is that sometimes kids will act out just to get attention. Some are so deprived of attention that even negative attention feeds their hunger.

I hate to say it, but what's next? Strait jackets?

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 12:53 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

It's hard to believe what your saying. I'm not saying you're lying and I'm well aware that cities will give homeless people a bus pass just so they'll go be a problem elsewhere, but what is it with that city? Who has decided that it should be the place where all the disturbed are sent to exist? It's just unbelievable and I'm having trouble making heads or tails of it. Thanks for the info though. I'm curious to dig around and see what I can find out.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 01:17 PM
reply to post by Afterthought

There are a few other CT cities that are dumping grounds for the states undesirables. Even NYC ships some of theirs across the state line into border cities.

Every once in a while some reporter will get up the nerve to make a fuss but it's quickly squashed with "they have to go somewhere" and "the revenue our city brings in is worth it" completely ignoring the societal costs of running their city into the ground and of course the tried and true bleeding heart responses which always baffled me because what use is it to pretend to care about these people in one minute only to fail any care and rehabilitation the next? They need to pretend to care long enough to get the check and long enough to get the votes of suckers then it's right back to looking the other way as the streets fill with mentally deranged lunatics and drive the tax base that can still afford to leave out of the region.

I'm sure CT isnt the only state that practices this behavior.

You dont have to believe me when I say I'm a direct product of that environment. I owe much of my distrust of authority and my disdain of government from being raised in that mess by parents who were raised in that mess.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 01:45 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

It's a true shame that it's happening at all. It's so much easier to ship your problems to other areas instead of dealing with them directly.

They recently announced in my county that they're going to be giving the homeless bus tickets so they can go be near family who can care for them, but I'm wondering if this was just a cover. I mean, who is really going to be verifying the information the people are giving them about their family members? I'm sure this story makes the politicians and city managers sound like a have a heart, but the real story isn't that warm and fuzzy.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by Afterthought

Yeah, no one will verify where they went. They'll get on a bus and either get off with someone they meet or just ride it to the end and get kicked off.

The way I see it cities/towns/states need to deal with the problem one way or the other. Either make it a real concerted effort to house and care for these people or decide to do nothing at all.

The bureaucratic and political half-measure of a little unverifiable assistance here and there that is never followed up on or seen through to completion isnt working out for either the tax paying resident or the disabled person who needs help.

That goes for convicts too. Incarceration itself is a failed half-measure.

These are things that no politician or legislator will touch. Leaving it broken provides too much opportunity for corruption, power and tyranny in the name of broken security measures, police state expansion and "liberal guilt" pandering. The broken system gets votes from both broken isles so nobody will ever bother to what's needed to just fix it.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 02:25 PM
My son, who has mental issues, attends a special school. They, too, have a scream room. However - there are a few differences. It's not a closet, it's a converted office. There are pillows and blankets. The kids are not locked in. They are given the option to go in. Sometimes they want quiet to calm down - or privacy (sensory overload from the other kids). Sometimes they need to lay down. Sometimes they need to punch something (the pillows). They come out when they're ready, they are monitored, and the staff (teachers, psychologists, and psychiatrists) are readily available if they need to talk. It's never about punishment, but about tools to manage emotions. Consequences come in other forms depending on the infraction, but it's usually being benched at recess, or another privilege taken away - it's never about locking them away for the sake of convenience. It became so important to my son, we've written the usage into the IEP.

Just goes to show you how some get it it "right" and some get it so terribly wrong.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 02:30 PM
reply to post by sparksfley

Thank you for adding this. It just goes to show how a 'scream room' can be used constructively or impractically.
I hope when they have their meeting tomorrow, changes such as the ones you mentioned are discussed and implimented. I think it would be a positive move forward.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 02:32 PM
Special needs kids aside, when kids were out of control while I was in school, there was a trip to the principals office. If you made several trips, the P.E. teacher came in with a fair sized hunk of wood and put the smack down on your backside. Worked well, from what I recall. But no one sued the school for it either.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 02:39 PM
reply to post by DelMar

I hear that. When I was in school, if a student started misbehaving or mouthing off to a teacher, the teacher would get a paddle out of her desk and take the offender into the hallway. I don't believe any kids were ever paddled, but several came back into the classroom crying and didn't misbehave again for a long time.

These situations were only in elementary school and the reason I'm saying that none were actually paddled is because we never heard any smacks coming from the hallway. I think the teacher just gave the student a firm talking to and the humiliation of the other students snickering at them as they came back into the room was enough for them to learn to control themselves.

But, as you said, this wouldn't work for children who are having behavioral issues due to real medical problems.

posted on Jan, 11 2012 @ 04:18 PM
reply to post by Afterthought

being a aren't of a troubled child(he's an adult know), I agree with a scream room. Schools have their hands tied, these disruptive kids hurt other class mates, one time at 4th grade a problem child threw a chair which flew to my sons head, I spent the day at the hospital a few stitches later we left. There are no rules for these kids I took my son out and put him in another school, my sons troubleness was a learning disability which landed him in with outta control won't sit and learn children. Give the schools a break, a scream room is more then fair.

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