Jackson County parents upset over rumors of 'the closet'

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A large number of concerned parents rallied together at a Jackson County school board meeting Monday night. They were there to express their concerns about a rumor that some children who attend East Central Lower Elementary school are being put into a "closet" for bad behavior.

Tempers flared and emotions ran high. Parents like Ashley Griffin say they just want answers about a so called room of confinement the school may or may not be using to punish their children.

"There was a rumor going around Facebook that kids were being locked into a room. When I heard that, I automatically panicked inside because I have a special needs child and I wanted to know was she being placed into this room when she's crying and upset," said Griffin.

The meeting went into closed session during discussion of the room in question, and that did not sit well with parents.

"I'm angry. We all should have heard about what was going on in there," said concerned parent Amie Webb.

According to Jackson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Amacker, the room parents are calling a "closet" is actually a 12x12 room with carpeting, pictures, doors, a desk, and chairs. When WLOX asked if our cameras could see the room, we were denied access. But assistant superintendent Dino Vecchio said it's a time out room for extreme disciplinary cases.

"We had some complaints tonight to the board in executive session and they heard the complaints. They are going to discuss it further about what actions to take," said Vecchio.

Superintendent Amacker also added that the room has not been in use for more than six months and he has not received any complaints from parents whose children have actually been put in the room.

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