Longview families lose $18M isolation booth suit

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A jury ruled against 5 families seeking millions in damages after their children were placed in isolation booths at school 5 years ago.

The families of 5 children in Longview sought $18 million after their children were put in isolation booths by teachers at Mint Valley Elementary School 5 years ago. Students age 5 to 10 with behavioral issues were put into an “isolation booth” or “seclusion room” to help them calm down.

After nearly a month of testimony, the jury decided the teachers did not violate the constitutional rights of the students and awarded the families no money.

The lawsuit called the practice “harmful and unconscionable” and said it was “tantamount to placing elementary school age children into solitary confinement,” and caused them to be traumatized, have nightmares, fear of being left alone and sometimes made their “disability related behaviors worse.”

Lawyers for the families have 30 days to decide whether they want to appeal the verdict.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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