EUGENE, Ore. -- According to the department of education -- students can be put in seclusion if their behavior threatens their safety or the safety of others.
After the story about seclusion rooms initially aired on Thursday, KVAL News received a number of viewer comments both for and against their use in public schools.
KVAL's Lauren Lee followed up with one woman who contacted the studios with the story of her son, 12-year-old Jared Harrison.
Jared, a special needs student with attention defect hyperactivity disorder (or ADHD).
He recounted the multiple times he was put in what is known as a "safe room" at McCornack Elementary School.
Every surface inside the room was carpeted. The entrance was a sturdy wooden door fitted with a peephole. In the corner there was a timer with a digital screen.
"As long as you were struggling or moving around, the timer would be set going up from 15 minutes. So, every minute you were there going around, they would add a minute to the timer." said Harrison.
Jared says this happened from first through fourth grades until one day in 2010 when his mother, Jennifer, was told to pick him up from school.
"I heard him screaming from down the hall … from outside of the room," Jennifer Harrison said. "I found him face down, screaming, with two teachers on top of him."
When Jennifer asked her son about the incident, he said that he was spending time inside the "safe room" when a staff member asked him to leave the room to allow another student time inside.
Jared said that he refused to leave the room.
"They finally dragged me out by legs, shoved my face on the floor and sat on top of me and put my friend on to the safe room." Jared said.
While the Eugene 4J school district said they were unable to comment on specific cases, they did release a statement saying that seclusion rooms are used if a student poses a threat of serious physical harm to themselves or other students.
During the 2010-11 school year, there were 39 documented restraints and 25 instances of seclusion at McCornack Elementary.
"If I'd known this was happening to my child in the first grade, I wouldn't have allowed him to stay there." said Jennifer Harrison.
Harrison said that her son was suspended from school on the day she saw him on the floor of the seclusion room. She said that she was angry it took her four years to find out that her son had been put in the "safe room" during his 1st through 4th grade years at McCornack Elementary.
Shortly after the incident in 2010 she filed a complaint with the Eugene 4J district.
After a district investigation, officials said that the actions of staff members was fully justified.
Harrison has since taken the matter to court.