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Administrators Take Heat For ‘Scream Room’ Controversy At Connecticut School

Farm Hill Elementary Now Says Closets To Only Be Used For Special Needs Kids
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Scream rooms

Parents have voiced their concerns over the use of “scream rooms” inside Farm Hill Elementary School in Middletown, Conn. (Photo: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Are they “scream” rooms or “quiet” rooms?

Whatever they’re called, they’ve generated a lot of controversy at one Connecticut elementary school.

But on Friday, administrators said they were virtually doing away with the practice of locking unruly students up, reports CBS 2’s Maurice Dubois.

Parents vented their anger Thursday night at a packed Farm Hill Elementary PTA meeting. Much of the shouting concerned the school’s use of so-called “quiet” rooms, where teachers would send misbehaving students. The children were locked inside the small, windowless spaces until they calmed down.

“There’s confusion with kids screaming, have to go to the room to scream. Okay, let them scream 25 feet away from everybody instead of right in the middle of everybody,” one father said facetiously.

Administrators initially defended the use of what they referred to as “time-out rooms.” They had apparently been in use for some time, but many parents said they only recently learned of their existence. Their outrage grew as they learned of nine separate calls to 911 concerning students inside the room.

“What has changed in the school to make it go from the most admired to us being ashamed to say our children come here? Sometime in the he last year and a half, two years, things changed and my own personal opinion is it had a lot to do with redistricting,” one parent said.

Complaints from parents prompted two state agencies to get involved this week. After Friday’s announcement, it’s unclear if their investigations will go forward.

The school is not eliminating the quiet rooms, but said it will only be used by a handful of registered special needs students.

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