Mary Hodge’s 5-year-old daughter, Charlotte, goes to school at Borrowfield Primary in Scotland, but recently, something horrible happened that made Hodge rethink sending her child there.
Charlotte has been diagnosed with sensory issues, and she continues to work with child psychologists to determine whether she might also have ADHD or autism. According to Hodge, the psychologist recommended sensory and play learning for Charlotte, but instead, “she was put into a dirty room.”
When Hodge learned that her daughter was being kept in an isolation room because she had trouble getting along with other students and could not be controlled by staff, and that she was slated to be kept there for the rest of the school term, Hodge was understandably furious. She took photographs of the “filthy” room, which she likened to a prison cell. She posted the photos to Facebook to get the word out about the school’s horrible treatment of her daughter.
“I would lose my mind if I was stuck in that room for an hour – never mind if I was in there a full school day,” she said.
Hodge’s photos show a smallish room with chipped paint, one door, a window, a blank bulletin board, and very little in the way of any decoration or creature comforts. There are several orange chairs and a small table lined up against the walls, as well as a covered keyboard and a bench, but no other furniture. A large green pillow sits in the middle of the floor, and the furniture and the floor appear to be covered with bits of paper and other unidentified scraps.
Charlotte was reportedly not even allowed to leave the room to go to the bathroom, and she bit a teacher in her attempt to escape for that very purpose. “When she needed to go to the toilet, a teacher held the door to keep it closed, and Charlotte ended up biting the teacher’s hand because she was so desperate to get out,” said Hodge.
Hodge has removed Charlotte from the school at this time and is looking into what she can do to supplement her daughter’s education until the issue is resolved.
“This school has failed my daughter,” said Hodge. “And I won’t be having her back until they sort themselves out.”
The school disagrees with Hodge’s interpretation of the room, stating that, while the room is “due to be decorated,” it is also “warm, carpeted, and well-lit.”
A council spokesman said the room has previously served as the head teacher’s office but is now used for music lessons, meetings, lunch clubs, and one-on-one learning. “We are in touch with this parent and encouraging her to share any complaints or concerns she has directly with us,” he said.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?