Mustang family says school put 7-year-old with special needs in "seclusion room"
MUSTANG, Okla. (KOKH) —
A Mustang family is asking for change after finding out their seven-year-old son was put in a "seclusion room" during the school day without their permission.
Billy Wynne says his son Nick is a happy kid who processes things a little differently.
"He has a ADHD and is currently being evaluated for autism," Wynne said. "He also has a sensory processing disorder."
Wynne and his wife found a special program for Nick at Mustang Creek Elementary this year, and they were excited about the one-on-one attention he'd receive.
"We were given a 15 minute crash course into 'This is the classroom,' this is what they called the refocus room in the corner of the classroom, which was the classroom closet," said Wynne.
Wynne says the "refocus room" made him uncomfortable, and they told the school they didn't want Nick to be put there. However, at a meeting last week, they made a shocking discovery going through Nick's folder.
"It was 14 times in the previous 18 days he'd been locked in this seclusion room," Wynne said. "We never got a phone call."
Mustang Public Schools says they cannot provide details regarding a specific child due to the laws regarding student confidentiality. Public Information Officer Shannon Rigsby did provide this statement:
"Any statement that a teacher has locked students in a “closet” is false. We have one program that was developed to help students with extreme behaviors that does have a deescalation and refocusing room. At the elementary level either there is no door on these rooms or only a half door is installed. If a half door is installed, there is no lock. It’s a safe, quiet place for a student to regain his or her composure. A faculty or staff member supervises the entire time a student is in the room. Although we would like to publicly address this particular situation, we cannot. We are glad this father brought his concerns to our attention and we are working to resolve them."
Wynne says Nick told him the half door was blocked by a chair and he could not open it.
"That seems crazy to me," Wynne said. "That he's in there number one, and 30 minutes for a 7 year old?"
Wynne plans to start Nick in a different elementary school on Monday. He said they did meet with the superintendent of Mustang Public Schools and believe positive change will come from this.
Wynne posted about what happened on Facebook, and it's been shared hundreds of times. The family says they're surprised by the attention the post has gotten and are grateful for the support coming from around the world.