Mary Hollowell,
teacher 
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                    SCHOOL SOLITARY CONFINEMENT: THE PROBLEM CONTINUES

                                            

     
On July 10, 2010, school solitary confinement (also known as school seclusion) was banned in Georgia by the Department of Education.  Parents, writers, and lawyers had been advocating against the practice for years.  Old rules for school seclusion stated that isolation rooms should be well-lit and large enough for students to lie down.  Photos taken by opponents, however, revealed that seclusion rooms were small, dark, and double-bolted.
     
     My book The Forgotten Room: Inside a Public Alternative School for At-Risk Youth exposes school seclusion in Georgia.  It contains revealing photographs and copies were sent to legislators in Washington DC. Congressman George Miller (D-CA) supported HB4247, originally titled The Preventing Harmful Restraint & Seclusion in Schools Act.  It passed in the U.S. House of Representatives but not in the Senate.

     Despite being banned in Georgia, reports of student isolation in closets still arise, and students with disabilities are the primary victims.  With the advent of iPhone cameras, more individuals can now document school seclusion.  School staff and educators are urged to speak out and help stop this ongoing human rights violation.
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