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Silver Creek parents question allegations of 'isolation room' at school

Room described as "discipline chamber"
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Posted at 10:25 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 21:07:37-04

SILVER CREEK, N.Y. (WKBW) — Upset parents crowded into a business in Silver Creek to address allegations that students are being placed in isolation at the Elementary School as a form of discipline.

Parents say Silver Creek Elementary School Assistant Principal Jay Hall contacted them last week, to tell them about a so-called "isolation room" being used inside the school. Hall says he wrote a letter to the school board on Monday, and has since been put on administrative leave.

Pictures obtained by 7 News show a room with a single window, a blue bed and electrical outlets. Parents say they were informed that students have been locked inside.

"It's mind blowing that they would lock my kid in a cubical that looks like a jail cell," said Tiffany Farley, mother of a 5-year-old boy who goes to the school.

Kristina Kwaizer says her 7-year-old son jumped out of a window and ran outside to avoid being sent to the room.

"This should not be happening, being barricaded not being let out to even have lunch," she said.

Superintendent Todd Crandall tells 7 News there is no such room at the school.

"We do not utilize an isolation cell," Crandall said.

He says one of the law firms that represents the school district is investigating the allegations. The district says that the investigation could wrap up by next week, and it will release the findings.

"We understand the level of concerns based on the seriousness of the allegations," he said. "We want parents to feel comfortable. Silver Creek, the entire district including the Elementary School is a safe place for students. We encourage the parents and the community to wait for the findings to come out."

The State Education Department released a statement Friday saying:

"We take all allegations of misconduct against educators extremely seriously. In order to protect the fairness and integrity of our processes, the Department does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations. Part 83 of the Commissioner's Regulations authorizes the Education Department to investigate allegations of lack of good moral character lodged against certified educators. An educator facing charges in accordance with Part 83 is afforded the opportunity for a full due process hearing. At issue when the Department initiates a Part 83 proceeding is whether the certified educator has the ‘good moral character’ to retain the certificate they hold."

7 News called and left messages for all seven board members Friday and we did not hear back.

Crandall returned our call Friday night saying it is not possible for us to take a tour of the school at this point until the investigation wraps up. Crandall says he spoke with the legal investigators late Friday afternoon and they're currently pouring over documents. He says they've been inside the school since Wednesday.

Parents tell us they're seeking legal action against the district.