WA school removes student isolation booth

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by AP and KGW.com

NWCN.com

Posted on December 4, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 5 at 10:15 AM

LONGVIEW, Wash. -- A Longview school has removed a controversial booth that was used to isolate special education students to prevent them from hurting themselves or others.

School district spokeswoman Sandy Catt says the booth was removed over the weekend from Mint Valley Elementary School.

She also told KLOG the district has decided to use an independent company to investigate how the padded booth was being used, and that might take longer than the few weeks originally expected.

Jessica, who asked that only her first name was used, said she’s gotten a lot of heat for supporting the booth, and that she’s not alone.

“It’s taking away their safe haven and safe spot to go to, to collect their thoughts and get redirected," she said. She added that she's been called "lazy," and she's heard death threats against other supporters.

The school stopped used the booth last week after a photo posted on Facebook raised concerns it was being used as punishment. The school says most students used it voluntarily to control emotional behavior.

Catt says the school is working with parents of special education students on other control methods.

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KGW Reporter Tim Gordon contributed to this report

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