WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published May 07, 2012, 06:12 PM

ND Parents Outraged Over School's Tiny 'Time Out Room'

LEEDS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Parents in Leeds are outraged over a "time out" room recently built in the public school that's meant to hold disruptive students.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

LEEDS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Parents in Leeds are outraged over a "time out" room recently built in the public school that's meant to hold disruptive students.

School officials say the room is a safe place for students who are out of control but parents say teachers are simply locking children in a closet.

Parents say they won't stop fighting until the room is entirely removed from the school building.

The tiny room is designed to hold students who become unruly during class. Brittany Mears says her kindergarten-aged son was one of the students to have a time out in the room.

"He said, 'mom, it was too small. It was just a box. I couldn't play or anything in it,'" Mears said.

Leeds Superintendent Dr. Charles Dunlop declined to go on camera, but says the carpeted room is the safest place in the school for uncontrollable students. Some parents say the conditions are criminal.

"Well if they can do it at school, we should be able to do it at home. But if we did that at home, our kids would be taken away from us and we would be thrown in jail," parent Leaha Kitzmann said.

"I totally agree, you can't do this. This is inhumane," Mears said.

The "time out" room is the talk of the town in Leeds after a YouTube video surfaced showing a parent verbally sparing with elementary school principal Jana Darling over the room.

Superintendent Dunlop sent a letter to parents stating that the room was built because there were no safe places for disruptive students in the aging school. The school has since stopped using the room and the door has been removed.

"They're trying to shut us parents up by taking the door off. It's not gonna shut us up, I guarantee you," Kitzmann said.

Parents say they want to make sure no student has to face the "time out" room again.

Superintendent Dunlop says the room was used only for students in a special behavioral program and that parents of those students were aware of the room. Parents refuted that claim on Monday.

Benson County Sheriff Steve Rohrer says his department investigated the issue last week and found no wrongdoing on the school's part.

Tags: