Iowa legislators may limit use of “timeout rooms” in schools, in response to a couple’s complaint “that their 8-year-old daughter was alone in timeout for more than three hours because she refused to finish a reading assignment,” reports the Des Moines Register.
“The problem that some of my colleagues have noted is an educationally inappropriate use of seclusion and restraint — ‘You were disrespectful; go into the timeout room,’ versus ‘You were disrespectful; how can we help you be more respectful?’ ” said Thomas Mayes, an attorney for the education department.
While three hours seems like an awfully long exclusion, what are teachers supposed to do about unruly children who aren’t in the mood to learn how to be respectful?
At home, short timeouts work best, writes a psychologist on Slate.
Timeout has nothing to do with justice, repentance, or authority. Rather, it follows a simple logic: Attention feeds a behavior, and a timeout is nothing more than a brief break from attention in any form â€” demands, threats, explanations, rewards, hugs … everything.