Lisa Chedekel photo

If Connecticut officials are going to continue to allow schools to use seclusion as a behavioral intervention, can’t they at least make sure that seclusion rooms have chairs?

That was the understated, soft-spoken plea from a 19-year-old student named Laquandria, who told a gathering of state agency leaders, educators, and parents Thursday that she had been secluded and restrained multiple times while attending public schools and special education programs in Connecticut.

“The walls weren’t padded, there was nowhere to sit — I felt like an animal,” said Laquandria, whose last name was withheld because of her family’s involvement with the Department of Children and Families. She is now finishing her high school education at a Hamden residential program. “I feel like, you know,” she told the assembled state officials, “we should at least have somewhere to sit.”

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