Parents hit Darien schools with suit over padded room

The parents of a student are suing the Darien School District after their son was placed in a padded room.Don Fiftal, the superintendent of Darien schools, says Ox Ridge Elementary School has had a "quiet room" since 1999. In February, school officials decided to line the floor, walls and ceiling with padding.Lees-Beth Ehrlich says school officials put her 7-year-old autistic son, Aaron, in the padded room. "It was completely inappropriate, it was dark, it was scary and it's no place for any child," Ehrlich said. Fiftal says he can't comment on the specific case, but he does stand by the use of the room. "The only time we use the room is for safety reasons. I believe our staff has used it appropriately,? Fiftal said. ?On the limited use of the room, the staff has exercised good judgment. The padding is there for safety." Education experts say a room like the one at Ox Ridge should be used only as a last resort.

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