The following quote (with my notes in red) comes from our local school's "student handbook" on page 11. I'm not going to link to it, but those of you who know what school district I live in (same as "city name, state") can access the handbook online by doing a search for the district and finding it. It concerns "recovery rooms," which is eduspeak for "locking a child in a closet as punishment." Read for yourself:
If the student is too angry or disruptive in the Buddy Room (another classroom to which the teacher sends the child who has "disruptive behaviour...),
they will be sent to the Recovery Room where they will be
allowed time to calm down and time to develop other methods
of handling their behavior with the assistance of the Recovery
Room Staff (Um, I have lived in this district 11 years and have never seen specially assigned "Recovery Room Staff." Usually it's just the teacher or, if she's busy teaching a class, whichever administrator or other staff member who feels like taking on this task or has the misfortune of being in the hallway at that moment). Occasionally, a student will be sent directly to
the Recovery Room if the sending teacher believes the
student is indicating it is the safest place for the student to be.
A plan will be written by the Recovery Room supervisor and
the student (Yeah, I'm sure the student will agree to anything, and in WRITING, to get out of the flippin' locked closet, thanks...) and discussed with the sending teacher.
Processing must take place before the student can return to
class. (And do you know what "processing" is? The handbook makes it clear that that's when the student "takes responsibility" for his actions and has written a "Think Sheet" detailing the problem and how it will "look better next time." I'm not saying sometimes these students don't need to take ownership of their behaviour, but the way it's written is so dictatorial as to be amazing. Confess and you'll be released... even prisoners get better treatment in America.)
From the Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services pdf on "recovery rooms:"
/Such disciplinary methods should never be used as punishment. Restraint and seclusion are last-resort methods and should be treated as such.
"I’m afraid that these methods are used more than a lot of people realize, and they are harmful to the students who experience them -- not just physically, but mentally too," says Byron Koster, a Senior Advocate with Missouri Protection and Advocacy, who has been receiving reports from parents whose children have been subjected to inappropriate restraint or unnecessary seclusion./
Preach it, Mr. Koster. I'll sit in the Amen corner and wave the hanky.