MURRAYVILLE, Georgia (CNN) — A few weeks before
13-year-old Jonathan King killed himself, he told his parents that his
teachers had put him in “time-out.”
meant go sit in the corner and be quiet for a few minutes,” Tina King
said, tears washing her face as she remembered the child she called
“our baby … a good kid.”
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But time-out in the boy’s north
Georgia special education school was spent in something akin to a
prison cell — a concrete room latched from the outside, its tiny
window obscured by a piece of paper.
An attorney representing the school has denied any wrongdoing.
Seclusion rooms, sometimes called time-out rooms, are used across the
nation, generally for special needs children. Critics say that along
with the death of Jonathan, many mentally disabled andautistic children have been injured or traumatized.
Few states have laws on using seclusion rooms, though 24 states have
written guidelines, according to a 2007 study conducted by aClemson University researcher.
Texas, which was included in that study, has stopped using seclusion and restraint.Georgia has just begun to draft guidelines, four years after Jonathan’s death.