“Isolation booths” mimic treatment of prisoners

Paul Joseph Watson
November 29, 2012

Concerns that schools are becoming more and more like prisons have been bolstered by the revelation that numerous school districts are using “isolation booths” to place unruly children in solitary confinement as a punishment for bad behavior.

The controversy erupted after concerned mother Ana Bate found out from her son that Mint Valley Elementary School in Longview, Washington was using a padded isolation chamber to deal with students with “behavioral disabilities”. Bate obtained photos of the isolation box and posted them on Facebook, prompting outrage and interest from local media.

The school claims the isolation box is a “therapeutic booth” and that only children with special needs and parental permission are placed inside. However, Candace Dawson told KATU.com that her son was put inside the booth without her permission.

“He said that’s the naughty room,” Dawson told KATU News. “That’s what he called it. He said when kids are naughty they get put in there.” Dawson filed a formal complaint yesterday.

KATU also received a separate letter from another mother saying her child was also put inside the box without her permission.

The isolation box is also in use at dozens of other school districts in the local region, including Hillsboro, Battle Ground and Reynolds.

Bate’s son told his mother he was “distraught” at being forced to sit near the booth for 4 hours as a punishment for “roughhousing” on the playground. During that time, he said he saw several other children being placed inside, suggesting the use of the box is commonplace and not in extreme circumstances as the law in Oregon and Washington mandates.

“[He was] thinking it was scary, it was abusive, are they gonna do this to me?” Bate told KATU.

The isolation box is not a far cry from solitary confinement that is used in jails as a punishment for dangerous prisoners. Although the children are placed inside the box for a limited time, the psychological effect is far more likely to be damaging than “therapeutic,” as the school claims.

Solitary confinement is considered by many to be a form of psychological torture. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch have warned that solitary confinement is traumatic for young people. Studies into solitary confinement used in prisons have found the method to be “counter-productive” and have noted that it actually increases violent tendencies.

Forcing children to go into solitary confinement, in some cases without parental permission, is another example of how schools are beginning to resemble prisons to a greater and greater degree.

From surveillance cameras in school bathrooms, to palm-scanning for school meals, in addition to regular police drug raids, schools are increasingly being used not just for education but indoctrination – teaching children that they are prisoners of the state and acclimatizing them to being constantly spied on and subjecting them to prisoner training.

“If you feel like you have to lock a child up, they shouldn’t be in public school,” Ana Bate told KATU. “I don’t think it gets any clearer than that.”


Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

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