Brickbat: Time Out


Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has ordered schools to stop locking up students alone in "time out" rooms. The order came a day after the publication of a joint investigation by ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune showing how widespread the practice is. By law, students can only be placed in isolation if they are a danger to themselves or others. But the investigation showed isolation is widely used for other reasons, such as refusing to do classwork or spilling milk, either as punishment for the misbehavior or because teachers were frustrated.

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  1. Just trying to make public school as much like prison as possible.

    1. But solitary rooms are now forbidden! They will be replaced by tasers!

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  2. It would be way more efficient to just send all these “trouble” kids to one school, which is hundreds of solitary confinement rooms. We could name it something catchy, like, I don’t know….. Julian Assange Reformation Academy.

    1. Ditch Digging Academy.
      Sewer Cleaning Academy.
      Dog Shit Cleaning Academy.

      Guarantee 99.9% of those kids shape up within a day.

      1. IIRC, they used to call the bad kid’s school a “Reformatory”.

    2. So I actually had a friend who went to a reformation school, and his experience there was actually what convinced his mother to pull him out of the system and educate him at home. Surprisingly not because it was so terrible, but because his grades sky rocketed once he was in a room by himself instead of being packed in with the kids that tried to beat the crap out of him on a regular basis. Pulling goin out was preferable to sending him back to a “regular” public school.

  3. Do they really put cuffs on the kids ankles in timeout?

  4. You hate overcrowded classrooms. You hate isolated learning environments. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS.

    1. I’m having a hard time figuring out how to get the lipstick inside my skull.

  5. The teachers just got their new labor contract with guaranteed annual wage increases (regardless of performance) and automatic pension step ups, and now you want them to worry about children?

  6. What ever happened to calling the parents and expelling the kids for the day?

    Why should teachers have to deal with kids that are out of control? They are teachers not baby sitters.

    Of course, with “no child left behind”, I guess teachers are baby sitters.

    1. What are these “parents” of which you speak?

      1. What are these “teachers” you speak of?

  7. Will be renamed “individual learning sessions “.

  8. How the hell do they expect kids to learn without any form of discipline. First they prohibit spanking and now the classroom equivalent of “go to your room”. I guess that’s why they call the fucking cops everytime a kid misbehaves. FFS!

    1. This is very much on point, but reading the article, it sounds like they are not just doing the “timeout” thing.

      The example in the article was a 7 year old who was unruly so they put him in an “isolation room” for 2 hours.

      Now they’ve gone past discipline and are in to “we can’t handle this kid so we are just gonna toss him in a box” territory.

      I don’t think we have this in our school district. We don’t have punishment rooms or isolation rooms. But we do have uncontrollable kids, and they are a real pain when you get them. My son got stuck with one for the first 2 years in elementary. He’d fall on the ground and scream, kick and hit, turn desks over….

      He’s actually a decent kid… he mostly grew out of those control issues and he’s doing fine in middle school. But he really disrupted the environment for a couple of years there.

      Judging by the way education folks are reacting, this Illinois scenario goes beyond even misusing normal “go sit in the hall” type isolation punishments. This goes to “we have a system with dedicated isolation rooms for locking kids in for hours” levels. I don’t really have any experience with anything like that.

      If you have a kid who is that much of a problem, they should probably be with the guidance counselor or school psychologist working on a special education plan, not sitting in an empty, locked room for hours on end.

  9. It’s Illinois, what did they expect? Even California looks aghast (or in jealously) at Illinois.

  10. Uh…. define “isolation”….

    Hasn’t “go sit in the hall” been done since they started building rooms for schools?

    Dramatic picture aside, I’m not sure we are talking about some dystopian version of “The Chokey”.

    1. Turns out…. we are talking about a sterilized version of “The Chokey”. I stand corrected.

      Never underestimate the power of the government to do worse than you thought possible.

  11. The article mostly describes a situation borne of teaching staff no longer being able to discipline children at all. So when they become disruptive, what are they to do?

    You can’t reason with a temper tantrum throwing child. And the other kids don’t deserve to have their ability to learn being completely destroyed by one asshole either.

    Plenty of ways exist for this to be abused, but at this point I see the schools having little choice outside of doing nothing.

  12. Things like this never happened when the nuns were allowed to crack the back of your hand with a ruler for being a jerk. I don’t recall them actually doing it to anyone mind you but I do remember the liquid soap they applied like lip balm for swearing.

    Of course nuns were more reasonable and would simply make you clean up your own spilt milk and were happy to wait with you after school while you finished classwork. Heck, I think detention was the high point of their social lives.

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