SPOKANE, Wash. "Room clears" are the last resort for teachers to separate a disruptive student from the rest of the class. Room clears are when the class is moved out of the classroom, leaving just the disruptive student and teacher alone in the classroom.
KHQ spoke with two local school districts. The Spokane Public Schools and Mead School District, and they tell KHQ that "room clears" are not frequently used unless student safety is in jeopardy.
Some cases of room clears can result in desks flipped over and classrooms torn apart. Teachers have told us it can be frustrating to come back to.
We spoke with Sheree Roundy who says her son who diagnosed with ADHD last year and has been the subject of a room clear.
"My son is one of those where he will be very loving and sweet one second, and you don't always know why but a switch turns, and he's very violent and becomes very angry. That's why he isn't in general population at the school because he will destroy the classroom and sometimes will hurt other kids," Roundy told KHQ.
Roundy's son is in the Compass Program at the Mead School District. The special education program starts in kindergarten for students with social-emotional and behavioral needs who require comprehensive supports to access their education.
Roundy says there are about six to seven students in the classroom with four to five teachers. Those teachers are trained to place students in a "hold." The "hold" was shown to Roundy, who even uses it at home when her son when he's having an outburst.
"It's very safe, it's very effective and it doesn't bother the children," Roundy said.
She says leaving her child or anyone else with behavioral issues in the general population of students would be disruptive to others trying to learn because they would end up having to perform a room clear.
"It doesn't help the child that is struggling at all. Leaving him there to destroy stuff I mean that doesn't teach him anything that he should be learning."
KHQ spoke with Mead School District Assistant Superintendent Jared Hoadley, who said:
"Room clearing is not frequently used. But it is an option. We try to de-escalate the situation before it escalates. If necessary, we perform a "room clear" because of the unpredictable behavior of the student having an episode prioritizing the safety of the students and everyone involved."
Roundy says parents should take note of their student's individual needs and that the compass program has helped her son.
"I know a lot of parents have issues accepting the fact that their kids might have something wrong with them. I did. But I mean we all want happy kids. We all want our kids to succeed in life to excel, and if getting him this sort of help is what's going to help him in the long run, then the holds and sometimes being put in a room is worth it. People just need to take their kids and get the help they need rather than just hope the school will figure it out without the parent's help."
The Spokane Public School District echoed the Mead School District when it came to room clears. We did speak with several teachers who had some horror stories about room clearing one says she was stabbed with a pencil by a student. None felt comfortable speaking with us on the record about it for fear of losing their jobs.