Another Parent Voices Concerns about “Intervention Room” at Maple Elementary School

Another Parent Voices Concerns about “Intervention Room” at Maple Elementary School

Another Mom comes forward from Maple Elementary School upset with how her child was placed in a padded room. But Harlem School District says their side of the story hasn't been told.

MACHESNEY PARK- Alicia Lynch was on her lunch break when she received a call from Maple Elementary School. Her 4th grade son, who has autistic behaviors, was removed from class for behavioral issues.

Lynch rushed to the school, but when she got there her son wasn't in the principal's office.

"They opened up the door and the principal was standing there with her arms folded glaring. And I walked in, into this small blue padded room and my son was in the corner crying and freaking out," explained Maple Elementary School Parent Lynch.

It’s called an intervention room and is used to deescalate a student's behavior in a safe environment. Using the room is part of an individual education plan or IEP for students with special needs.

"Some of the plans have behavior modification plans and this would be part of that behavior modification plan," said Harlem School District 122 Superintendent Julie Morris.

But Lynch says it’s not part of her son's plan. In fact she says she had no idea the room even existed.

"My son has an IEP. There’s no behavioral plan in there because he's never had a behavioral problem at school before where he couldn't be redirected," said Lynch. 

Morris says intervention rooms are used infrequently and when they are she says Illinois state laws and school codes are followed.

"If a child is really escalating and we're afraid they're going to hurt themselves this room may be used, but again that's usually the parent is informed," said Morris.

Lynch says she wasn't informed about the intervention room saying the district took several days to even answer her questions.

The Illinois State Board of Education has many requirements for these intervention rooms including that the child is not left alone. The supervising adult must stand within two feet of the room.
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