Seclusion room violates child’s constitutional rights

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Lesson Title

Seclusion Room Violates Child’s Constitutional Rights

E-Newscast Video Link

Video Length

Two minutes and forty-nine seconds

Grade Level

High School & Above


In 2003, a seven-year old boy with autism attended Artondale Elementary School in Washington. School officials allegedly punished the boy when he became “over stimulated” by locking him in a “safe room”.  The boy’s parents sued the school alleging a range of state and federal violations, but the court did not pick up the case again until 2011. Finally, the court ruled that the use of the seclusion room violated the boy’s constitutional rights.

Review Questions

What was the court’s reason for refusing to take action in 2005?

Which constitutional rights did the school officials violate?

What else could the school be held liable for?

Free writing “Journal” Prompt

Imagine that you are one of the school officials working with the boy in this story. What are your goals when interacting with a student who has become “over stimulated”?

What might have caused the school officials to act the way they did?

What about this report do you have questions about, or want to know more about?