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VIDEO: The End of Middletown's 'Scream Rooms'

Watch Friday's entire Middletown Board of Education press conference on "time-out" rooms and then read a few of my thoughts.

In this video you get a chance to watch the entire press conference regarding the . You also get to see Apryl Dudley, president of the ’s PTA make comments at the end.

I feel that this is something you always don't get to see in our media. You get 5-second clips on the major news stations. In this video, you get to see the majority of the event unfold, along with my editing touches.

Though this is a good step, it's not the end of this problem. If you have ever had to deal with a child that is completely uncontrollable, then you may understand why someone who has not had the training to cope with this situation would degrade themselves, the school in which they serve, and the children they teach as to place such child in a cell and hold the handle in fear.

The fear is not understanding what to do in this situation. The fear is not knowing how to cope.

Clearly there needs some additional training for all our teachers in how to handle students with behavioral disorders.

From this website, I will quote some characteristics of a behavioral disorder among children and adolescents.

  • Initiation of aggressive behavior and reacting aggressively toward others.
  • A display of bullying, threatening or intimidating behavior.
  • Being physically abusive of others.
  • Deliberate destruction of other's property.
  • Showing little empathy and concern for the feelings, wishes and well-being of others.
  • Showing callous behavior toward others and lack of feelings of guilt or remorse.
  • They may readily inform on their companions and tend to blame others for their own misdeeds.

Now if you read Apryl Dudley's complaint about "scream rooms," you will see many similarities.

Clearly we need professionals that are trained in dealing with these disorders. We can't just ignore the problems by putting them in a room and shutting the door.

Where is the school counselor? Isn't this his or her role?

Farm Hill Principal Pat Girard said, "The only time that a child is prevented from leaving is "sometimes when we have child bolters," a student who would otherwise run out of the school, endangering themself.    

If your child is attempting to go AWOL, then those are serious issue that need to be addressed.

I am thankful that light has been brought upon this issue. I wish the administration success in correcting this matter.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ebben Flow January 15, 2012 at 02:39 PM
So far, all they have really done that can be called a "change" is that they have now waved their arms and ordered everyone to stop breaking one specific law concerning use of the rooms on students who do not have a legally prepared IEP. Up until now they were breaking that law. Other than that they are moving the rooms to elsewhere in the building and changing what they call the rooms, much like Blackwater changing their name to try and escape their previous lawless history when people try and do research on them.
carlo January 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM
What a crock. Another article written by someone who is ignorant. It's very easy to say these rooms are bad and the school should do something else but much harder to actually say what that something else is. The root cause of the issues with the majority of these "special" kids is their homes. I worked in the Hartford school system. I also lived and worked in another inner city. Schools had doctors, police, social workers, counselors, etc., and guess what? Hartford is still a dump. You do not cope with kids like this; you deal with them. Everyone is concerned about their rights but what about the rights of the kids who have responsible parents that actually parent? Tell me: how does a counselor or psychologist fix the fact a kid has no father and a mother with her own "special" problems. Anyone who saw the clip from the PTA meeting saw that one mother who started yelling at the man who had the mic. How surprising that someone who can't control themselves in a civil, structured setting has a child who can't control himself in the same type of setting. Since when have schools become the dumping ground where society's ills have to be fixed? Your kid has a broken arm, you take him to the hospital. He has a dental issue, you take him to a dentist. He is sick, you take him to a doctor. You don't take him to school. By the same token, if your kid has psychological issues you take him to a psychologist, not to school.
Darrell Lucas January 16, 2012 at 03:37 PM
First I would like to thank you for commenting on my blog. It is my opinion. I will agree with most of what you say. What you dont know is that I have experience with dealing with children with behavioral disorders. I fear you didn't read my post fully and if you did you would see that I am interested in the investment in a counselor that has more interest, education, and intelligent sense to educate the staff... plan an agenda, scenarios where classmates get out of hand. The administration needs to respond with proper legal authority to decide whether a child is fit for regular class work among peers. All of this should be public and documented. But when we get into the topic of the parents role in the child's development I am wary. Are some parents lousy? Sure in someones opinion. But in the history of humanity some amazing people have been raised from $hity environments. For those few, school can be an oasis.
Pro Death January 18, 2012 at 07:38 PM
The schools are here to educate our children not treat their psychological and or emotional issues. I believe their is a point when some children need to be left behind.
Keep the river front for all of us January 21, 2012 at 01:09 AM
I agree 100%...........we cannot be responsible for everyone...........that's what parents are for. I don't want my children to be deprived of a proper education because others have special needs which are not being taken care of " outside of the classroom".

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