- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 15, 2018

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The Sioux Falls School Board has approved a rule change that bans “timeout” rooms as a form of student discipline.

The policy revision made Monday is a result of a state law passed this year that requires all districts to adopt rules banning the practice of physically restraining students and locking them in padded rooms, the Argus Leader reported . South Dakota schools have until July to update their rules.

The Sioux Falls district’s move is more of a formality because its schools no longer use timeout rooms, according to school leaders.

“I know we don’t have padded rooms in the district and we certainly don’t intend to have padded rooms,” Superintendent Brian Maher said.

The new law prohibits educators from locking students in a room alone unless there is a “clear and present danger.” Schools also must notify parents whenever a student is physically restrained or placed in seclusion.

“We’re just making sure we’re compliant with the state law,” said Kate Parker, board president.

Micaela Boice’s daughter was physically restrained and locked in a room by teachers at the now-defunct Jefferson Elementary School about five years ago. Boice pulled her daughter out of the Sioux Falls School District and transferred her to Tri-Valley public schools in Colton.

Boice believes the practice only added to her daughter’s issues and said the rule change is a step in the right direction for students.

“They need positive structure and positive modeling of behaviors,” Boice said. “Shoving them in a padded room isn’t teaching them to properly behave.”


Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com

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