Time for a Time Out: Why Are 40,000 Children So Harshly Disciplined in Public Schools?

Maia Szalavitz:

Locked in cramped, windowless rooms, tied in body-restricting bags, denied food, water and bathroom access: all of this is happening not to patients in the overlooked back wards of state mental hospitals, but to children as young as 5 in American public schools.
In the 2009-10 school year, some 40,000 children were restrained or isolated as discipline for bad behavior — most of these students had physical, developmental or learning and behavioral needs — according to Department of Education data. That research was cited in a revealing op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times written by a father whose daughter was deeply traumatized by such treatment. A 2009 Government Accountability Office report also found “hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death related to the use of these methods on school children during the past two decades,” in both public and private schools.