"There's a little room there that looks like a jail cell," says Malikka Williams. "There's no bed in it, there's a little slit window that you can look through. Tears just started coming down my eyes, because it reminded me of a jail cell for psychiatric."
That's one parent's description of what's called the "Calm Down" room at UP Academy Holland, a K-5 public school in Dorchester.
In 2013, the state declared Holland a "failing" school. UP Academy stepped in to turn the school around under state supervision. And the school's test scores have gone up. But so has the suspension rate. UP Academy Holland suspended more kindergartners last year than any other school in the state.
That's partly because the school uses a controversial theory of discipline that has its origins in law enforcement.
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