Teachers Sounding The Alarm Over ‘Room Clear’ Method | NBC Nightly News

Teachers Sounding The Alarm Over ‘Room Clear’ Method | NBC Nightly News


  • Mayra Rebecca Zamora

    As a mom with a kid with autism, he has a one on one for the safety of himself and others. Restraints, when used appropriately, can help but so can other resources. Physical restraints became controversial, and rightly so, because they weren't used the way they were supposed to and mostly targeted students of color. Teacher unions prohibit requiring teachers take mandatory training for things such as this. It is voluntary. This former teacher didn't get the support she needed in the classroom and all of the students, including the disruptive student, isn't getting the help and support that they need. It also forgot to mention that most of this support would be provided through special education, that was supposed to have been funded by the federal government, but was never fully funded and left the states holding the bag, hence the lack of mental health resources and supports in schools. It's a complex issue that doesn't look like it will be resolved soon.

  • Max

    "Anger is a communication method"….uh no. It SHOULDN'T be. Sure, it can be. But you can't teach children that it should be and reward them for communicating that way. Room clearing is a direct reward for them behaving badly….

  • Zoe Følstad

    These kids need help, not these terrible methods. The kids that come to me are looking for trust and acceptance, and clearing out an entire room is not the way to gain trust. It tells them that you don't care what they do and tells them that they are allowed to continue this behavior because you will just clear it for them to do whatever they want. In some adult cases I've had, methods like these further aggravate them, and many people have told me it made them feel like outcasts and monsters. This isn't productive, it's destructive. I understand the politics involved, and all the issues public schools face in terms of funding cuts and therapist cuts, but the government must find a better way. Kids with mental illnesses are not a hinderance to our society, and we need to stop treating them like they are.

  • Hard-Ass Bull

    He stabbed his teacher with a pencil, yet he's a 'good kid'? No, Mom, he's disturbed and has been let go.Bring back corporal punishment. #Paddle

  • Humor & Pain

    I'm sure black students would have the police called on them and they would take the student out forcefully. The mother didn't seen to be bother by her son behavior.

  • victoria b

    I remember doing this as a kid when I was 6-7. Wouldn't happen that often but when it did, it was by the same kid. He would grab anything and throw it across the room, like books and pencils and the class would wait outside the classroom.

  • S DeFelice

    What's wrong with room clears? It's meant to ensure the safety of the other students so they don't get thrown into the fire

  • B Sadi

    It's a matter of shifting responsibilities, there needs to be a balance. There has been a spike of restrictions on schools and teachers with these new gens of soft parents who could threaten your career if you talk loudly at their child. So, youve unchained your children and restricted their handlers, no. You have to punish them yourself and raise them with firm hands at home. Its all fine with yall as long as the kids arent stabbing yall or wrecking your homes, eh?

  • B Sadi

    Best solution: cameras in classes and fine the parents, like someone suggested below. Call the parents, email, and mail them about the fine , set a date to meet with the 'accuser' , they should have video evidence, and the rest is settled.
    You're up for some miserable surprises by taking away any sense of social responsibility from them from such an early age.

  • Preston Estes

    I see several problems with the “room clear method”. What happens if the child hurts themselves because no one is in there to prevent it or stop themselves. Then that injury is on the school. I do see room clear in keeping the other kids safe though, that’s the only thing I can give it credit on but there still needs to be a better way. Starting with parents taking responsibility for their kids and actually punishing them for doing wrong rather than saying it’s all alright, because it’s not.

  • Peter Nguyen

    "More Training, more mental health specialists" No, parents need to be more involved in their childrens' lives rather than using school as a 'daycare'

  • OhhGlam92

    The room clear just gives them power. They need to be knocked down a few pegs. Both mental health inquiries and put the fear of God in them. (Meaning respect of your authority figures)

  • mohammed jama

    A 7 years old did that wtf.. if he behaves like this at this very young ages, I wonder what’s going to happen when he grows up?? And his mom looks like she is proud or laughing about it like dafqqq! Smh..

  • Raven

    When the child with any sort of special needs does something like that.. so it’s the parents fault? Of course those of us who have children with a special need want our children to socialize with other children because it is important. But once that child does something violent then everyone else goes and blames the parents and say they need to keep their kid at home. And that’s not fair to that child ether who needs the help, schooling just as much as the other kids.

  • Mark Denler

    Majority of Americans are unfit to procreate because of deep narcsicism that society has created. No one wants to take responsibility for anyone's bad behavior.

  • Naughtysauce

    I will vote for my kids teachers to be able to smack them around if they disrespect an adult because that's exactly what I would do at home.

  • Stephanie Wayman

    You all talk big talk for people who probably don't have to deal with kids who have special needs like that. My son has cleared a room before. Wanna know why? Because he wouldnt leave for a cool down so they had to get the other kids out to get him out. He didnt destroy the classroom. He just needed to get out. And you know what? I am just like that mom! My son went to a special school for 3 YEARS before he went main stream! He repeated kindergarten to be ready for mainstream! And i am constantly thinking of ways to get him to do better in class. I dont just sit in a corner and think "well it must be the teacher because my sweet little angel would never do anything wrong!" No you idiots. I hold him accountable for his actions. But guess what? Tje consequences that work for you and me dont work for other kids! And so to the people who say "have the parents pay" or "the parents aren't punishing them enough" to that I say you are so close minded if you think we are all like that. We are trying and sometimes we get stumped.


    This is what happens when society caters to those that whine the loudest. Discipline your children, learn to say "no," and for god sakes quit filling their heads with that everyone is a winner BS. Without the life lessons of hard work, failure, and success these kids grow up thinking that they are entitled to the perks that come with greatness. It also breeds a society of quitters as they are unaccustomed to the tribulations that come with working to achieve a goal.

  • Clayton Caldwell

    Quit bringing an intellectual, progressive approach to this. Dont put up with this crap. Handle the situation, use physical restraint.

  • Jennifer Asplund

    In my school a kid started acting out (psychially) and my teachers held him until he calmed down despite the kid yelling "let me go" the teachers got in no trouble and the kid was under control everyone could safely resume studying i'm in Finland what's going on in U.S.A?!?
    (English is not my first language)

  • Carol Howard

    When I was a kid, the principle was allowed to spank the bad kid. But back in the 70’s, we rarely had a bad kid. And we certainly didn’t have kids that destroyed property. And if they did, there would be consequences at school and at home !

  • Carol Howard

    Kids act up because parents don’t spank anymore. They give “time outs”. Give me a break !!! Some of these kids need a good old fashioned hand to the backside !!!!

  • Kat 3

    You so called parents out there that lets your kid do this kinda thing should be jailed , are thiese the kinda people you want running our country ? This is our future? This will be the down fall of our country ,

  • Dashie19

    I have worked at an elementary school for one year in this after school program. At first I didn’t think it would be too difficult however, as days passed i never felt so anxious to end the day. My students had the modern iPhone x’s at age 8….. EIGHT and even apple watches at times. I could tell how stressed my coworkers were due to the abundance of kids they will have to send to our manager daily. I quit my job as soon as I could….. I will say this though. There were some special ones that I come to care for.

  • Lost Aquarian

    Idiots! Our government, all workd governments use corporal punishment on unruly citizens. Train children to understand this.

  • albert apodaca

    This is what our society and the soft parenting produces. Kids have no structure at home and youtube cat videos teach kids what life values matter.


    Am so happy am done with school too many bullies and mean teacher.going to school cause me depression anxiety and low self-esteem and phobia to other people hate being near other people.life feels good when your done seen the same faces who make your life miserable.anyone who's going to start high school.just stay away from other people socialize only with your classmate and observe how your environment affect you and how others behave around you.the number one rule is never argue with your teacher because you will always lose even if your right.always be good even if your alone.and dont be friends with bad students because who you hangout with described who you are.in the eyes of others

  • Mona *4

    Never heard of such concept….

    A black parent kid whose does room clear will get a serious lashing by their parents.

    Discipline not acceptable practice = More room clear problems.

    Room Clear = Mass Shooters

  • Hound Keeper

    Some people are talking about the mom smiling I don’t think it’s a happy smile I think it’s those smiles when you try to make the best of a bad situation. I’ve worked in a special needs camp and younger kids have melt downs one week about three different windows were broken. It doesn’t always mean they are bad they just get over stimulated or something sets them off.

    The parent tries their best but if there aren’t enough mental health professionals available how can parents or teachers provide the right type of support if they don’t the cause of the children’s behavior. It could be as simple as smaller class sizes.

    Sometimes it’s not even bad parenting it’s just a matter of mental health. Maybe the kid was abused and has suppressed rage it’s not their fault they need counseling. That’s what mental health services are for sometimes things aren’t that simple.

    Teachers worries and fear are fair too she is unequipped to deal with such behavior. And frankly I think it’s fair to not like someone trying to stab her with a pencil but this isn’t a kid acting out because of misbehavior. This is a kid who has special needs that aren’t being accommodated.

  • KerriNature

    Schools are now our unbalanced all age daycares a this point. All children are put together by age and good luck. I hated school, the teachers singled me out all the time for not being able to sit still, to understand instructions, to not wander. Learning disabilities weren't considnered back then so no one cared that I couldn't read a clock in grade 6 and that numbers switched in my head.. Already bullied and their solution was to stick my decks against the blackboard so everyone and everything was behind my back. Family followed their example by making me an example when I finally got home… Now I can't go out in public, I can't have people walk behind me, I'm over 40 now and it's still going on.

  • Unique King

    That Ain't Gonna Happen In Public Schools On Indianapolis They Have IMPD and crazy her son can stab the teacher but a 6 year old black girl was charged with battery for playing dodgeball.

  • ᴅᴇᴀʀ ᴍʀ. ɪꜱᴀɪᴀʜ ᴅᴇʀɪɴɢᴇʀ;

    USA in 2019 as long as you are under 18 they clear the room for you to totally wreck it. Become 18 and heckle at a public event and get immediately tasered 🤷‍♂️ I see a problem there.

  • Siena May

    Omg parents need to seriously man up and teach their kids manners. Like wtf u can’t be babying ur child and letting them do whatever they want just cuz they’re ur child .

  • chroma

    This is what happens when you don't invest in the foundation of your civilization. This is what happens when you let corruption destroy the government. This is what happens when you let inequity grow to intolerable levels. This is what happens when you replace public healthcare with predatory for-profit medicine. This is what happens when you let wrongful war debt impose austerity upon society. You create dystopia.

  • Elso

    I can't imagine how else you deal with an extreme situation like that. The fact that a child has a meltdown that threatens the safety of other students, and the teacher is indicative of an issue that has already occured. A child with the propensity to act out in that manner should not be in a general population classroom to begin with. Class sizes are already too big across the country, giving teachers less time to give every child the attention they need. Meltdowns like that do not come out of nowhere and they are almost always preventable. This isn't about parents thinking their kids are angels or that they need to be punished. Every child, regardless of their mental health situation deserves access to public education. When schools do not have the necessary resources and policies in place to meet the needs of students with behavioural disorders it affects the education of all students, not just the ones causing the issue.

  • 2006glg

    Wow, so much has changed in two decades. So everyone else has to leave the room now? That's setting a precedent for a troubled kid they will learn to expect into adulthood – that the rest of society will make room and way for their BS. And our f'd up society will get even worse. Americans don't want to pay teachers a living wage or pay taxes for better schools everywhere but expect educators to wholly raise their brats and burgeoning juvenile defendants. This is why I discouraged my niece from going to college for a teaching degree. I am glad she listened.

  • Mymy Lastname

    I once hear a mom say raising her child is "easy". She said, "I just put him in front of the t.v." No. Ppl want to have teachers raise their kids for them & teach them EVERYTHING, but as soon as a teacher gives any negative feedback—-they want to fight the teacher!!!

  • RealFishy

    That mom didnt even seem like she cared that her child stabbed a teacher. How said is that. My mom is a teacher and she says all the time that it's the parents fault and clearly it is she, she was laughing and showed no remorse…. just plain sad.

  • Evelyn Bonner

    As a recently retired teacher, I can verify that this situation is VERY common. It isn't about crowded classrooms, lack of money, more mental health professionals, etc.etc. Its about making parents responsible for their own kids, and reinstating that old fashioned idea that school is a place to learn. I don't mean to sound hard hearted, but if a kid can't maintain behavior that allows everybody in the room to learn, that kid needs an intervention by the parent. Not the teacher, not the school counselor, not the school districts who often hire a one on one person to spend all day with a child to "keep him/her under control." The number of students with severe behavioural issues is staggering. I'll leave you to form an opinion as to why.

  • Beachgirl127

    When I was in private elementary school we’d get the ruler across our hands if we acted out. Shocking result: we learned respect and discipline. Something sorely lacking in public schools.

  • diane sturlin

    This is a perfect example of why "spare the rod, spoil the child" was written into existence.
    These kids today are so concerned with everybody respecting their safe space that they don't even realize they have invaded every other humans safe space with their demands. Oh and also one of the main reasons this is so prevalent in our education system is because children are now raising children. I live in North Texas and if you haven't had your first child by your sophomore year in high school you are an outcast…SMH!!!

  • Dawn Price

    In many districts across the country, the teachers are blamed for the kids acting out. They are told they set the student off, the plan was not followed or enough data was not collected. It is creating a hostile working environment for teachers, PTSD, and amazing teachers to leave the profession.

  • Aaron

    The politicians have allowed this in hopes the parents of the other children choose a charter school. There is a manufactured crisis at the expense of our children and hard working professionals. DC and state governments are infested with rodents.

  • Jamie Voelker

    As an educator who has been punched, hit, and kicked by students, the laws created by politicians limit the consequences that can be administered. We also know that kids are not born with these learned behaviors. They develop them based on a number of factors: mental health conditions, disabilities, trauma, and many other factors. Parents need to be an active participant in their children's education and discipline. Educators need to be paid more, provided more resources, provided more training, and mental health counselors should provide therapy for all students experiencing trauma.

  • KSMaxiefan01

    I would understand the room clear method if the kid had behavioral issue such as autism but if a kid is deliberately acting violent and hurting the teacher and the classroom over and over again they need to be removed from the school

  • Mary Kay Watkins

    We used to have a policy that when a student was disruptive and not responsive to direction we would buzz the office, the office would announce a "code" that sent ALL staff available to the classroom. Staff would surround the student and escort them out so the teacher could continue to teach and the students were not completely disrupted. This worked well. It is not used anymore. A room being destroyed like that is expensive. The money could be used better.

  • biffDipstick

    "Les, the education experts I spoke with said the solution is smaller class sizes, more teacher training, more mental health specialists, but of course, Lester, all of that costs money."

    Whatever education "experts" she spoke with are not experts if they do not bring up anything about the child being disciplined at home. Typical liberal response to a social behavioral problem: throw more of other people's money at it. None of the things the "experts" told her addresses the core root of the problem–the child's behavior. They put the onus of responsibility upon the educators and remove it from the parents. Sick, twisted logic (or not logic at all).

  • Soul Glow

    in other areas they have school resource officers dragging students out and arresting 6 year olds. a kid yanked a teacher by a whistle lanyard, body check her and stab her with a pencil and all her students get is a trashed classroom. Iowa, you're handling students (children) the right way. Other districts should take notice.

    oh… and let's challenge our elected officials bc this reduction in education funding is NOT working for us. Kids have greater pressures than past generations and we cant deal with those realities with less money than we had for past generations.

  • 351528

    Is it just me or are these incidents on the rise? I grew up in Canada in the 70's and 80's and this sort of thing was unheard of, sure kids acted up but nothing like this. Now I'm hearing more and more teachers sharing stories of how violent and threatening kids are becoming in the classroom. I had a co-worker who left the profession because she found herself dealing more with behavioral problems than teaching. Is this mainly a North American thing? I'd love to hear from educators from around the world to get their perspective on things.

  • Christina Mowatt

    I have a simple and more effective solution that is also cost effective. We called it the wooden paddle. It kept us in line. We never acted out like this. It was a very large wooden paddle with holes drilled out for aerodynamics that was kept on display in the principal's office. We were terrified of it!

  • Katie Lentz

    The ol’ grab them by the ear and yank them out of the room to go get paddled by the principal was a pretty good method back in my day.

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