Forget old-fashioned Time Out Rooms - Let's just shackle the kids

When I worked with students with severe behavioral disabilities in a residential setting, we used a Time Out room.  Students that broke a classroom or cottage rule and became out-of-control because of the punishment were taken to the room for a cooling off period.  Needless to say, at times that was difficult as an adult to watch a student be placed behind closed doors while they were releasing their anger.  However, according to The Washington Post, school officials at the Capital City Alternative School in Jackson, Miss. have taken discipline to a whole new level.  Reports indicate that students are being shackled to railings and poles for hours at a time for minor violations.

According to the school's Website, the goal of Capital City is to change the disruptive behavior and improve students' academic performance so they will be successful when they return to their home school.  They attempt to work on behavioral change through the PBIS system - Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support.  Being a PBIS trainer, I can tell you that binding students to poles is not in the list of suggested activities.  Critics of the school feel the high-level consequences will make students more likely to drop out and commit crimes as they get older.  On Wednesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a class-action suit in U.S. District Court on behalf of all the students enrolled at the school. 

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