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Published May 10, 2012, 05:52 PM

ND School to Remove Controversial 'Time Out Room'

LEEDS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - The controversial "time out box" in the Leeds Public School will be no more. The school will remove the box Friday after some parents accused the school of locking students in a closet.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

LEEDS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - The controversial "time out box" in the Leeds Public School will be no more.

The school will remove the box Friday after some parents accused the school of locking students in a closet.

Leeds Superintendent Dr. Charles Dunlop apologized to parents for causing such a large issue but maintains the school did nothing wrong by using the time out box.

"I'm sorry we've had this type of reaction and it wasn't done with any malicious intent," Dunlop said.

But some parents thought it was malicious to hold children as young as five in the small, carpeted room. That's why it will soon be gone from Leeds Public School. The school stopped using the room last week.

"It generated a lot of consternation. As long as it's not being used, we figured we can just get it out of there," Dunlop said.

The level of anger at the box still surprises him.

"I don't know what the cause of it was," Dunlop said.

The issue got so heated that the Benson County Sheriff's Department and North Dakota Department of Public Instruction investigated the school. They found no wrongdoing, but Dunlop says he would rather drop the issue and remove the room.

"Certainly we don't want people to be angry, feeling bad about things that are going on in the school," Dunlop said.

Dunlop says the district is looking into building a new facility with a built-in space which would better serve as a time out room.

"Most modern facilities have little rooms that can be utilized for that purpose," Dunlop said.

But until then, Dunlop says he hopes the anger will subside and the school can continue to serve the people of Leeds.

"We'll try to mend situations with people and certainly if there were more concerns, we would be more than willing to visit with people," Dunlop said.

It may be difficult for the school to mend relationships with angry parents.

One parent who talked with WDAZ on Thursday refused to go on camera, but said she'll only believe the room is gone when she doesn't see it there anymore.

The time out room will be placed in a storage shed adjacent to the school, but there are no plans to use it for anything in the near future.

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