Clayton State University (GA)
Mary Hollowell has been advocating against the use of school solitary confinements cells since her discovery of this practice in 2004. Her descriptions of solitary confinement of students with disabilities (often termed “school seclusion”) are included in her award-winning book The Forgotten Room: Inside a Public Alternative School for AT-Risk Youth. Her book includes documentation in the form of photographs, with a particularly vivid picture of graffiti written in blood. This evidence, along with media coverage and her oral testimony before the State Advisory Panel for Special Education, has helped sway board members to ban school seclusion in Georgia. The only book documenting school seclusion in the nation, copies have also been distributed to federal legislators in Washington. Hollowell’s successful advocacy efforts against an egregious human rights violation include blogging against solitary confinement, organizing constituents to lobby legislators to support The Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act, HR 4247. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate as Senate Bill 2860. The bill is supported by the special education lobby and may soon be signed into federal law, The Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in Schools Act. The website atwww.theforgottenroom.com continues the advocacy efforts against confinement.