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3 students placed in ‘seclusion room’ at McAuliffe International School

3 students placed in ‘seclusion room’ at McAuliffe International School

DENVER — A minimum of three college students had been positioned in a “seclusion room” within McAuliffe Worldwide Faculty (MIS) throughout the 2022-2023 faculty 12 months, Denver Public Faculties stated in a launch Friday night.

The assertion comes in the future after the president, vp and treasurer of the DPS Board of Schooling revealed details about the room to justify the firing of former MIS Principal Kurt Dennis, a problem that’s drawn criticism from some neighborhood members.


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Vice President Auon’tai Anderson stated a whistleblower on workers at MIS revealed that college students of shade had been locked inside a room with a lock on the skin throughout the 2022-2023 faculty 12 months. He stated in a tweet Friday he acquired further data that “most college students locked on this room had IEPs (particular person training plan), and had been fairly actually dragged by means of the varsity screaming down the hallway and put on this room.”

The data was ample sufficient to set off the district’s obligatory reporting obligation, Anderson and DPS stated. Since Anderson was the preliminary recipient of the whistleblower’s electronic mail, he contacted the Denver Police Division.

In its launch, the varsity district stated it was notified on Wednesday of the inappropriate use of a “de-escalation room.” DPS stated de-escalation rooms exist all through the district, however there’s a distinction between de-escalation and seclusion.

The district defined that de-escalation is when workers members use strategies to assist calm a pupil who’s experiencing escalating feelings. If wanted, college students could be delivered to a de-escalation room. In accordance with DPS, college students go into de-escalation rooms voluntarily and are accompanied by an grownup always whereas the door stays open.

Seclusion, alternatively, is when a pupil who’s experiencing escalating feelings is locked inside a room by themselves till they settle down, in line with DPS. The district stated de-escalation is allowed in sure circumstances, however seclusion shouldn’t be.

“By no means is “seclusion” a permissible intervention in DPS to assist a pupil with wants of that sort,” the varsity district stated in its launch.

DPS stated what allegedly occurred at MIS was seclusion, not de-escalation. The district additionally stated the room in query didn’t meet DPS’ de-escalation room pointers.

In accordance with a 2019 memo that outlines steering for the creation of de-escalation rooms, “the perfect area ought to be equal in measurement to 4 pupil desks, no home windows in room, one door, and solely delicate furnishings used.” Home windows which are within the room ought to be secured or restricted, and any blinds or window coverings that could possibly be pulled down ought to be eliminated, in line with the steering.

Anderson stated Thursday he and Board of Schooling Treasurer Scott Esserman went to MIS to research and found that “locks had additionally been positioned on the home windows of the room, (and) that the vent within the room was destroyed.”


Interventions for college students experiencing emotional escalation are made on a person foundation and usually adhere to a pupil’s IEP or Part 504 plan, in line with DPS.

An IEP, or particular person training plan, outlines “particular training instruction, helps, and providers a pupil must thrive in class,” DPS defined. A 504 plan is an overview utilized by academics and directors as a way to meet a pupil’s wants whereas addressing “any issues or obstacles that could be attributable to developmental disabilities,” in line with the district.

The district stated Friday it’s conscious of no less than three college students who had been positioned within the room at MIS throughout the 2022-2023 faculty 12 months. A minimum of one of many college students didn’t have an IEP or 504 plan that supported the usage of a de-escalation room as an intervention tactic, in line with DPS.

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