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Tue Jan 25, 2022, 11:57 AM

Trauma Lingers For Students Who Experienced Repeated Seclusion And Restraint

by Jillian Atelsek, The Frederick News-Post/TNS | January 25, 2022

FREDERICK, Md. — It was the first day of third grade, and James had been in school for 19 minutes.

By 9:20 a.m., the 8-year-old was locked in a padded, closet-sized room. He’d remain there, alone, for nearly three hours.

Though Maryland law is clear that no child may be kept in seclusion for more than 30 minutes, Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) seemed to have found a loophole. In their logbook, staff recorded James’ seclusion time that day in half-hour chunks, according to discipline records provided by his mother and examined by The Frederick News-Post: 9:20 to 9:50. Then 9:51 to 10:21. Then 10:22 to 10:52. On and on until 12:08 p.m.

“From what he explained, sometimes they would pull him out and then shove him back in,” said James’ mom, Beth. “Sometimes they would open the door and then just close it again.”

( I can't begin to put in words how distressing this is to me. They don't know what they're doing and their response should be seen as criminal, IMO.)

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