Police: alleged child abuse at school may involve special needs student

WOODLAND, Wash. - Police are still investigating allegations of child abuse at Woodland Elementary School and are now saying it may involve a special needs student.

Police are looking into whether Principal Mark Houk used too much force to help restrain a mentally challenged third grader.

According to Woodland police, Woodland School District Superintendent Michael Green reported the allegations to them March 7. Green told police school staff told him that Houk had physically abused the child several times while at school.

Houk has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation. The Woodland School District is also conducting an internal investigation.

No criminal charges have been filed so far in this case.

Police say this may have happened in what some reports are calling a "behavior room." KATU has reported on "seclusion cells" or "isolation rooms" in Washington.

A KATU reporter wasn't allowed onto the school's property Tuesday. However, someone from the school came out and told him there are no seclusion cells or isolation rooms in the primary school. Those rooms are still allowed in Washington as long as parents are told about them.

KATU's reporting on the rooms helped get legislators to ban the cells in Oregon.

More of KATU's Coverage of Isolation/Seclusion Rooms: