The Director of the Kaskaskia Special Education District has issued a response to allegations made against the district in a statewide investigation of the use of “timeout” rooms.
Cassie Clark says she cannot comment on matters pertaining to individual students, but says KSED strongly believes in the guidance and principles articulated by the Federal Department of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education regulations, which make clear that restraint or seclusion should never be used except in situations where a child’s behavior poses an imminent danger of serious
physical harm to self or others, and restraint and seclusion should be avoided to the greatest extent possible without endangering the safety of students and staff.
Clark adds the use of isolated time-out and restraint are behavioral interventions that can be legal, safe, and appropriate as specifically recognized by the Department of Education, the Illinois State Board of Education and various court decisions on the matter. She says those interventions are necessary in order to meet their obligations to maintain the safety of students and staff when there is a behavioral crisis.
Clark says their staff has and continues to go above and beyond to develop positive relationships with all of their students and to create a positive learning environment. She says those positives that are not openly portrayed in social media, and are being actively overlooked in the current news cycle is vilifying the KSED staff unjustly.
Clark says all staff are trained on the safe and appropriate use of restraint or timeout. She says the staff is to never use restraint and/or timeout as a form of discipline, but once again only in times of safety. Clark reports KSED provides communication and documentation to parents in these situations consistent with the law, often on the same day.