'Reset Room' reduces suspension rates at Cumberland County school

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- One Cumberland County School is hitting the reset button on how they handle behavior issues with a "Reset Room."

Many children, especially middle school-aged kids, face adverse childhood experiences. Social worker Teri Medina sees it every day.

"Every child's experience can be anything that happened in their childhood from, ''We were neglected at home, or we came from a home with divorce or we have a parent that was in prison or we felt unloved or saw domestic violence,'" said Medina. Often times, these situations show up in the classroom as behavior issues, but instead of traditional discipline, Max Abbot Middle School is trying something different.

"This is the reset room. This is where kids come to kinda work through the stresses or any sort of bad day that they're having," said Medina.

Medina got the idea from a documentary called "Resilience." The film showed how traumas at home can get in the way of learning in the classroom. In the reset room, students learn how to cope.

"We have a large bean bag chair that they love to sit in and they're learning mindfulness techniques. We have a yoga station where they can do simple yoga. And then for the kids that need to burn some energy; we have a jump rope and a hula hoop," said Medina.

Though the reset room only started in August, Principal Carla Crenshaw is starting to see less traffic in her office.

"I would say we do see a few less students," said Crenshaw.

This time last year, a handful of students were recommended to an alternative school for behavior, but this year the number is zero.

"Teachers, they'll give me feedback, 'Hey this kid came back to class and they were so on point after that,' so it's good reassuring," said Medina.

But most importantly the students see results.

"It's actually a really nice experience for me because I do have like anger issues," one student told ABC11.

The idea of a reset room has been considered at the school system level as an alternative to ISS and OSS. Teachers can also take advantage of the reset room as well.
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