LONGVIEW, Wash. – A concerned mother who posted photos of an “isolation booth” in a Longview elementary school on Facebook said she wanted other parents to know how the school uses the space.
Ana Bate said her son saw the booth in use at Mint Valley Elementary School, and had questions.
The school principal said the padded room is used for students who have behavioral disabilities.
Parents of eight or nine students at the school have given permission for their kids to be placed in the booth if necessary.
“How come they’re not providing documentation about how this ‘therapeutic booth’ is beneficial?” said Bate. “Show me some real numbers. Show me something from the medical community that says more times than not and all the documentation that backs it up. Don’t tell me ‘well, their parents said we could do it.’”
The superintendent of Longview Public Schools said the booth is an effective therapy tool for students with special needs, and has been for years.
District spokeswoman Sandy Catt told KATU News students whose parents gave permission are placed in the booth when they are acting in a way that could be harmful to themselves or others.
None of the parents who gave the district permission to place their kids in the booth has complained, Catt said. But because of the many complaints from other parents, the district is reviewing how the booth is used.
“I believe that room has served a good therapeutic purpose and there may be improvements,” said Catt. “I think we need to look at the information that’s been gathered to determine where to go from here.”