EUREKA, Mo. — A Eureka mother is desperate for help after she says her eight-year-old son attempted suicide while in class.
Amy Brummel said it happened after more than a year of regular confinement to a type of 'isolation room' at Eureka Elementary School.
"He's a smart kid. He's very funny. He's good at home, just having very difficulties at school," said Brummel about her son, Jacob.
Brummel said the difficulties began when she started getting reports from Jacob's special education teachers saying her son was being put in a isolation room over and over again.
The school claimed the 8-year-old was throwing objects, hitting teachers in the stomach and threatening students.
Brummel said she saw the impact on her son.
"Teachers were restraining him hard, where he came home with marks," she said.
Rockwood school district has another term for isolation rooms, calling them 'safe spaces' or 'sensory rooms. They're padded rooms where students go to de-escalate disruptive behavior.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Rockwood School District told us:
"In Rockwood, we have safe spaces, also known as calming or sensory rooms, for students. Many are located near the school counselor’s or school social worker’s office. It’s a low sensory room to provide a calm environment for students, and it is always supervised by at least one adult who is trained to help the child. Safe spaces do not serve the purpose of punishment for a child."
But Brummel says the rooms were used to punish her son.
"He was in isolation all the time," she said.
Brummel said Jacob has obsessive control and attention deficit disorders and that he can be hard to handle.
"He's very hyper, he does not want to do his school work most of the time," Brummel said.
That's why Jacob is in a specialized class that has only five to seven students with about as many teachers..
Then last fall, Brummel got the call that Jacob had tried to hang himself in class with his shoe laces.
"It was all wrapped around his neck," Brummel said.
Now Brummel wants Jacob out of Eureka elementary.
"How can all five teachers, not watch all five students. Where were they? Especially when my son tried to hang himself. Where were all five teachers?" Brummel said.
In a statement, the Special School District told us:
"A safe space is never used as punishment, and a staff member is present in the room with the student. Parental permission to use the room is included in a student Individualized Education Program (IEP). When a student is involved in a situation that presents an imminent danger to himself/herself or others and requires a crisis intervention, including using a safe space, staff document the incident."
"The IEP team, which includes the parent/guardian, determines the amount and types of special education services that a student needs. A student's grades are just one of the many factors considered by the IEP team to determine a student's special education placement."