The Oregon house unanimously passed a bill seeking to ban seclusion cells, which are defined as free standing and part of the building structure. One that has been included in the Oregon bill is like the one that has been used in Longview, Wash., which the school administrator has called “isolation booth,” which makes parents worry that their kids are being abused when they are locked at it at school.
Democratic Rep. Sara Gelser of Corvallis visited a school in Portland that has seclusion cells. When she has been told that it is calming inside, she went inside the cells and asked that it be shut down. But contrary, to what had been told, she said, she did not feel calmer and didn’t feel relaxed.
The Pioneer School District, which specializes in teaching special needs for students and has isolation facilities, for which Gelser had also visited, characterized them as rooms, not cells.
Portland Public Schools’ spokesman Matt Shelby said that for rooms like this, the alternative would be physically restraining a student for a prolonged number of time, so this gives them basically the idea to put the students in an environment where they can calm themselves down.
Democratic Rep. Sar Gelser said that the aim of the legislation is carrying just seclusion cells and further legislation would further limit the use of seclusion rooms. And if the bill does not accomplish that, the bill may be modified to make sure it shuts down to those seclusion rooms at Pioneer.
Read more: Oregon House passes ban on ‘seclusion cells’