Sixth Grader Punished in Windowless Closet

Sixth grader Evan Rivera says his science teacher at Broughal Middle School has been sending him to a windowless storage room as punishment

By Stephanie Rice
|  Thursday, Jan 31, 2013  |  Updated 8:38 AM EDT
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Some parents in the Lehigh Valley are outraged. They say a teacher put their son with special needs in a windowless storage room for discipline.

NBC10 Philadelphia, Doug Shimell

Some parents in the Lehigh Valley are outraged. They say a teacher put their son with special needs in a windowless storage room for discipline.

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A sixth grade honor roll student with special needs says he is being unfairly punished by his science teacher.

Evan Rivera attends Lehigh Valley's Broughal Middle School in Bethlehem-Northampton County. Recently, he told his school counselor that his science teacher has been locking him up in a windowless storage room for punishment.

Each lock-up lasts for about forty five minutes, according to Rivera, and he is not allowed to bring in any other schoolwork. "She puts me in this room that keeps me locked away from everything that [the other students] are doing", Rivera said.

Rivera says that the first two lock-ups were prompted by arguments with the teacher, but the following times occured for no apparent reason.

Science is the only class in which Rivera's grades are suffering. His mother claims that he once loved going to school but is now unhappy.

Rivera currently takes ADHD medication and is being tested for Asperger's syndrome.

"[The teacher]'s lashing out and singling him out because I think she's looking more at him as a problem child and not as a special needs student", Rivera's father said.

When the school's principal was confronted, he said he had no idea the punishment had occurred and would do his best to end the practice.

But Bethlehem's school superintendent views the punishment differently. He said, "It is a time-out room that is an accepted district practice".

Rivera has since been moved to a different science class

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