I just read about an elementary school in Longview, Wash., that uses a padded isolation booth for disruptive students. The parents of eight or nine students have given their permission for this unusual disciplinary action, as a matter of fact, one has countered the general outrage by suggesting it is “beneficial and therapeutic.”
That defense got me thinking: Why not offer a greatly upgraded, soothing adult version of the booth and have it available at our Novato City Council meetings?
Not only that, why not charge a fee and make a few bucks for the city at the same time?
Here’s how I see it: If a citizen gets too unruly, he (sorry guys, I see a he here) gets a choice. He can be escorted out by Chief Jim Berg & Co., which is tacky and a potential liability for the city, OR he can pay a small fee and enter the one-of-a-kind City of Novato Therapeutic Time-Out Cubicle.
Our version looks nothing like this elementary school model, which is pretty scary and located in what appears to be the supply closet. Ours is attractive and appealing inside and out. Ours is also equipped with some unique patent pending features so if this takes off, and other cities and counties want to create their own, Novato gets to negotiate a nice, fat fee. Even more money for the city coffers!
Anyway, back to the cubby. You pay for 3-minute increments, with a two-time max as others probably will be waiting in line. You choose from a wide variety of songs or sounds, and those Styrofoam noodle things you use at swimming pools are available in many colors. You can smack them against the padded interior to your heart’s content. You can shout and yell and scream in the perfectly sound proof City of Novato Therapeutic Time-Out Cubicle.
Or you can do nothing. There are no cameras inside, so for 3 minutes — or maximum 6 — you can do whatever you want to vent your frustration with whomever you disagree with, so long as you don’t hurt yourself, which would lead to the aforementioned potential legal liability.
Is this not a win-win? For the cubby user, it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than therapy, plus they would have the added satisfaction of raising some money for the city without agreeing to that quarter-cent sales tax increase that keeps popping up every election or so.
The City of Novato Therapeutic Time-Out Cubicle will put us on the international map as well, as countries such as Greece and Spain, whose citizens are outraged with the austerity measures being placed on them because they’ve run out of money, look to our city and our cubby for solace.
Once again, Novato leads the way in creative solutions to our problems!