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Van Der Sloot Sentenced to 28 Years; Unbuckling the Bible Belt

Aired January 13, 2012 - 21:00   ET


DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.

Van der Sloot verdict and punishment, the globe-trotting killer is sentenced today, but how long will he serve?

And shouting it out, outrage over a school that locks kids with behavior problems in a room to blow off steam. What if that were your child.

Plus, shouting it from the roof top, a pastor and his wife promote healthy marital sex taking a page from John and Yoko.

Let`s get started.

Welcome tonight. We are coming to you live.

Now, he may not be a free man until the year 2038 as a Peruvian court condemned convicted Joran van der Sloot to 28 years in prison. He was sweating as he wiped tears from his eyes. A three judge panel, all female, very interesting, sentenced van der Sloot for the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, a woman he met at a casino in Lima in 2010. Watch this.


PINSKY (voice-over): Joran van der Sloot, the man at the center of the Natalee Holloway mystery for over six years, now facing another 28 years behind bars. A Peruvian court sentenced the Dutch national today for the murder of another woman, Stephany Flores.

The van der Sloot saga began in 2005 with the disappearance of American teen, Natalee Holloway, in Aruba. He was named the prime suspect and rose to international notoriety, but van der Sloot eventually left Aruba.

His parents took his side. He went home. He traveled crisscrossing the globe, despite his infamy. Then in 2010, van der Sloot crossed paths with another unlucky girl and another tragedy. Twenty-one-year-old Stephany Flores, the daughter of a prominent Peruvian businessman. On May 30, 2010, van der Sloot beat and suffocated Flores to death in a Lima hotel room exactly five years after Holloway vanished. Van der Sloot fled but was arrested in Chile and transported back to Peru.

For a man with not only one but potentially two corpses in his paths, he manipulated the system as best he could. Issuing a confession, retracting it, considering an insanity plea, asking for more time, then finally confessing again.

In the end, the privileged young Dutch man stood sweating and twitching in a Peruvian courtroom, perhaps pondering the next 28 years in a South American prison.


PINSKY: Van der Sloot is the only suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway who yesterday was actually legally declared dead.

Natalee`s father Dave Holloway said today he believes Joran is, quote, "beyond rehabilitation." I agree.

With us tonight to help bring it all down, Body Language Specialist Mark Edgar Stephans and Beth Holloway`s attorney, John Q. Kelly.

John, can you tell us what Beth`s reaction was to the sentencing today?

JOHN Q. KELLY, BETH HOLLOWAY`S ATTORNEY: Well, she certainly had a reaction. It`s has been a difficult three days for her. But she wants to keep up her sort of emotions private at this time. She sees it as time for the Flores Family to grieve, to mourn, to absorb and digest what went on in the legal process concerning their daughter today, and let them address the situation.

PINSKY: Now, as I told you, an Alabama judge declared Natalee Holloway legally dead today. Here is Beth Holloway`s reaction to that.


BETH HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY`S MOTHER: Natalee`s father wanted to see this through, and of course it makes me very sad.


PINSKY: John, a couple of questions. Obviously, really tough for Beth. Why was she resisting to do that and why was her father so intent upon having her declared dead?

KELLY: Dave`s reasons were more legal and financial from his point of view and Beth, from her point of view, she saw no reason to have a legal declaration of Natalee`s death. She always wants to be able to hold on to that dream, that, you know, a possible miracle that one day she might see her daughter again.

PINSKY: And then my understanding is her husband, Natalee`s father, was still paying for health insurance and things like that, and she preferred to set that money aside for some of the other children`s education, is that correct?

KELLY: That`s correct. There were very practical reasons that Dave wanted to proceed down that path. And Beth`s position is that she understands it and as I said, any - any declaration signed by the court doesn`t make any difference in her heart that she`s holding on to that dream. She`s still holding Natalee dear.

And if there`s ever a sliver of hope that she could ever see Natalee again and also wants to reinforce her beliefs with other families that to never give up hope.

PINSKY: Well, John, actually that`s what I wanted to say. Please send her our regards. I met Beth on a number of occasions. She is lovely. And it`s just - I don`t know how to describe my empathy for what she must have gone through. It`s got to be shattering. And I know she is being of service to many other families, and please send her our regards. And I`m sorry this didn`t feel right to her.

But on the other hand, maybe it gives her a chance to kind of grieve a little bit and move forward some.

KELLY: Sure. She`s a brave, strong, incredible woman.

PINSKY: Yes, indeed.

Now, I want to take a look at Joran`s reaction today as the sentence is read. And then we`ll give Mark - we`ll give Mark that video and he will give us some thoughts on Joran`s body language. Now, watch the tape.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He is sentenced to 28 years of incarceration, concerning the time he has been in prison since June 11, 2010, will expire June 10, 2038 - of 2038. June 10, 2038.


PINSKY: Mark, kind of peculiar watching that. I got a funny feeling almost with each movement of his eyes. Did you get that, too?

MARK EDGAR STEPHANS, BODY LANGUAGE SPECIALIST: Yes, very peculiar. Because in the clip before this, we see him being almost this restless. Yes, bring it on, let`s hear what it is.

Then what we see is just a little bit of relief that starts to come in, almost relief, and there`s just the slightest bit of happiness almost that - wait a minute - at least we`re moving on here. That is not normal behavior.


STEPHANS: If you were going to hear something that strong about being in prison for so long, you wouldn`t react that way. And you see him sort of smile and sort of - and then look around for his thoughts, which again he`s disassociating from what`s going on. But it`s almost like he feels a little bit of relief.

The hard thing to do with someone like van der Sloot is to know exactly what he is that he is feeling, because he doesn`t feel the same things that you or I do.

PINSKY: And I`ve got to tell you Mark, that - this - when I - I`ve been trying to help my viewers understand how disturbing guys like this are. You know, people who are trauma survivors, sex abuse, they`ll engage in awful behavior sometimes, but you can understand based on the traumas they`ve had. These guys to me are like killer robots.


PINSKY: I can`t understand how their heads work. I go into like a denial about how they function, that somebody could be that cold-blooded. And yet I`ll tell you something, when he looked to the right there -


PINSKY: -- I got a feeling of cold-bloodedness, that anger that was stunning.

STEPHANS: That`s what you are seeing. You are seeing anger because - and what my feeling on this is is that he is angry that he is even in the situation, that he has to go through with this.

PINSKY: Right. That`s rights. Like how dare they.

STEPHANS: Yes. It`s like it hasn`t really dawned on him that he`s doing so much wrong. And that`s the - that is the real scary thing with someone like this is they don`t register the same way that you or I would. And in body language, we don`t see a lot of shame, guilt or embarrassment, because they don`t feel it. They don`t feel the same things a normal person feels.

PINSKY: Like a robot.


PINSKY: Now, the judge today described how Joran brutally killed Stephany Flores in his Peru hotel room. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He held her by the throat with both hands and strangled her. But as she was still breathing, and the aggressive shirt was blood stained, he removed the shirt and placed it over the victim`s head to finish the mortal aggression.


PINSKY: What do you make of it? He looks - he looks almost disdainful.

STEPHANS: Yes, yes. There`s - you`re seeing a little bit of disgust. There`s a great deal of contemplation about what happened, but again, I`m not seeing the shame, the guilt, the embarrassment which you would see with someone who`s caught like that.

PINSKY: And not only that, no vivification. He`s not - I`m hearing that and I`m freaking out. He lived it, nothing, zero.

STEPHANS: And for him, it`s really - and you see he`s looking - he`s looking to the left which is where we remember, our thoughts. And he`s remembering like, yes, and then I went to the grocery store, and then I did this, and then I did this.


STEPHANS: Because that`s the way that type of mind thinks. It doesn`t think there was something ugly or awful about it. This is what happened and this is the way it appeared (ph).

PINSKY: In 15 seconds, again I`m trying to help people understand the difference between a killer like this and a Casey Anthony who`s sort of a, you know, screwball killer. Yes. Is there a difference?

STEPHANS: I`m going to give you my full opinion on this, which is this is someone who would kill without thinking twice about it. Casey might try to cover her tracks a little bit. She might actually -

PINSKY: Realize she did something wrong.

STEPHANS: Exactly. Yes, exactly. But him, no.

PINSKY: Yes. It`s a little bit different. It`s a little scarier to me. It`s just me personally.

STEPHANS: It is scarier.

PINSKY: And maybe other people are more scared (INAUDIBLE).

STEPHANS: And it`s harder to read. It`s harder to read.

PINSKY: And both kind of sociopath, let`s just be clear.


PINSKY: Both sort of sociopath that can - but one severely so.


PINSKY: So thank you, Mark, and also thank you, John, for joining us. I appreciate it. Again, please send my regards to Beth.

Next, we are taking a deeper look at Joran`s background, who is this guy, what is it about him that` is psychopathic. We`re going to - we have - actually we got our hands on Joran`s psych report. It has been leaked to us and we have the man with the report. We`re going to show it to you after the break.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He is sentenced to 28 years of incarceration, concerning the time he has been in prison since June 11, 2010, will expire June 10, 2038 - of 2038. June 10, 2038.


PINSKY: Welcome back. We are coming to you live. That is Joran van der Sloot being sentenced to 28 years in a Peruvian prison for murdering 21-year-old Stephany Flores.

At Wednesday`s hearing, he could barely stay awake. He was aloof, arrogant. Today, demeanor changed. He seemed to be sweating, fidgeting, irritable, anxious, initially. It`s like he knew perhaps the jig was up this time, and no one was coming to save him. No mommy, no daddy, no flawed Aruban legal system.

But let`s talk about who this guy is and what he`s been through and how much of a monster is he.

Joining me now is Criminal Profiler Pat Brown. And, Pat, I think you nailed this guy last time I talked to you. Cole Thompson wrote the book, "Portrait of a Monster" and got a look at Joran`s psych evaluation.

So, I`ll just start with a simple question for you, sir. Do you think Joran van der Sloot is even capable of remorse?

COLE THOMPSON, AUTHOR, "PORTRAIT OF A MONSTER": No, I really don`t. I mean, the things he has done, the lies he`s told, 14, 15 different versions of what happened to Natalee, trying to shake down Natalee`s own mother for the location of her body, which turned out to be bogus, claiming post traumatic stress syndrome, blaming Stephany Flores, saying she was the instigator, that he was - this was all self defense. I think Joran only thinks about Joran.

PINSKY: Yes. I think - I think that`s what everything suggests.

And we`re going to get into the psych evaluation in just a second. As you actually have your hands on the hard data, so we`re going to talk about what is actually going on with this guy, what is known, what the hard evidence is.

But you mentioned PTSD and blaming the victim. Here is Joran`s friend John Ludwick recently on "NANCY GRACE." You`ve got to see this. She asked - he says Flores asked for it. Watch the tape.


JOHN LUDWICK, JORAN VAN DER SLOOT`S FRIEND: I`m not saying that it wasn`t provoked, and I believe he did have post traumatic stress syndrome. But I hope -

NANCY GRACE, HOST, "NANCY GRACE" (voice-over): What do you mean provoked? You think Stephany Tatiana provoked Joran van der Sloot into murdering her? What do you mean by that?

LUDWICK: I do believe so. If she got the e-mail and figured out he was involved in Natalee`s stuff, she should have just immediately left the room and not confronted him.

GRACE: But how did that provoke him? That she said, "Whoa, are you the one that people believe killed Natalee?" How did that provoke him into murder?

LUDWICK: It enrages him obviously. So she - she shouldn`t have done that.


PINSKY: Go get them, Nancy, what the heck.

Now Pat, we have the facts, we have a psych report. Yes, PTSD, nonsense. I see zero evidence of PTSD. How about you?

PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Oh, of course not, that`s absolutely ludicrous. Yes, he did kill in my opinion two women, and he hasn`t suffered from killing any of them emotionally. What he has suffered from is getting caught.

And what we see happening in the courtroom when he confessed, I believe there`s only one reason he was willing to confess, it is because he wasn`t in an American courtroom where there was a jury that he could snow with his defense attorney.

He had three judges and he knew those three judges were professionals and they weren`t going to buy any of his crap. So he really shouldn`t have killed off a woman in a country that didn`t have a jury system. And he knew as you said the jig was up, which was very frustrating to him. The only remorse he had is that he committed the crime stupidly, and got caught.

PINSKY: That he`s caught, right.

And here - let`s go over some quick facts about Joran van der Sloot. He was born in Holland on August 6, 1987. He`s the oldest of three brothers. His father, Paul van der Sloot, was a judge in Aruba, now deceased. His mother, Anita van der Sloot, is a professor, living in Holland, not having much to do with him, by the way. You notice no family there at the courtroom.

Joran reportedly did well in school. Indications are that he`s a decent student but he was restless, smart. He lived with his parents until he was 17, and then he`s had some bizarre, I mean, he`s been globe trotting and had some bizarre jobs.

Now, we have Joran`s psych report. Cole, where did you get this report?

THOMPSON: Well, I have sources in Peru. I can`t really divulge who they are, but they ran pretty deep. And I got a pretty much full picture of Joran, both his psych report, all the police documents, all the witness statements. So I got a pretty good idea who this guy is.

And his problems really seem to start when he`s in his very early teens. He went through I believe they call it early onset puberty. He shot up above all his peers. He became very sexually aggressive, physically aggressive, and so much to the point his parents had basically a maid`s quarters that was outside of the house separate from the family house, and they moved him out there.

And I believe it was not so much to give him freedom but to keep him away from his younger brothers. There were reports -


THOMPSON: -- that he beat one of his younger brothers nearly to death.

PINSKY: Wow. Wow. Again, I blame parents when they do not get - get treatment for kids like this before they go out and harm society. I mean, it`s just unbelievable to me.

Now, you guys, I want my control room to get me the little - I want to read the report. I want to read some of the narrative about the report here.

He is a very dangerous criminal. Here is an excerpt from the - there we go. This is an excerpt from the psych report.

He shows social irresponsibility, the enjoyment of superficial activities, and a general let`s call it libertine and hedonistic lifestyle in search of new sensations in order to stimulate him. He showed low tolerance to frustration, unable to stand inconveniences and a tendency to generate a vengeful altitude.

He was emotionally immature prompting sudden changes in his behavior that can go from simple criticism to out of control emotions, which make him prone to commit acts against the lives of others, as well showing dominance over the opposite sex with the devaluation of the feminine figure.

Pat, I remember when you and I talked about - about him. You basically said this was the guy, that he was a rage killer. That if somebody frustrated him or didn`t go along with him, he was likely to do that. I think you nailed it.

BROWN: Yes. You know, this is not a serial killer in the sense a serial killer wants to get back at society, and what he does is he picks out what he thinks of prizes of society, often times, you know, young girls jogging or cheerleaders. Occasionally they will go for prostitutes.

But what they`re trying to do is get back at society and get some power back in their lives. So they - whenever they have a downturn, their life isn`t going well, their girlfriend dumps them, they lose a job, they target somebody. They go out and throw over someone. They kill them and they feel like superman again. And, ha-ha, look what I can do. You don`t even realize I did it and I feel great.

This is not what Joran van der Sloot is about. What he is about is always having somebody respect that he`s Joran van der Sloot. Now, his parents I believe when I look back at the history, basically gave him what he wanted, and whenever he did something wrong, they made it up for him, they had his back all the time, instead of letting him suffer consequences. So when he got older, he expected to get what he expected to get.

So when he went out, women -

PINSKY: Hey, Pat. I got to take a break.

BROWN: Yes, sure.

PINSKY: I got to break. But apparently the mom is on the record saying she thought he was mentally ill.

But Pat and Cole, thank you for being here. People always wonder how I do what I do, dealing with people with trauma and stuff that I can deeply empathize with. I don`t know how you guys do what you do dealing with guys like this. I just don`t understand. To me these are like killer robots. Thank you, guys.

BROWN: They are.

PINSKY: They are.

Next, a pastor shouting from the roof top literally. He wants to talk, yes, what about this. He wants to talk about sex from the roof top. There they are.

And later, parents up in arms over timeout scream rooms. What are they?

Plus, the premier of my new segment, it is called "Doctor`s Orders."


PINSKY: Now, this is usually when you call in the show and give us your Facebook and Twitters and I answer your questions.

Well, tonight, I`m making the phone call. Technically, I`m making a Skype connection.

Usually church talk, like the church lady and sex talk don`t necessarily mix, but one Texas pastor thinks they should and he is literally shouting that from the rooftop.

Pastor Ed Young and his wife Lisa are spending 24 hours in bed on the roof of their church today. They want - there they are. They want to encourage healthy and active sex lives between married couples.

My "Loveline" co-host Mike Catherwood is here to weigh in with me just to keep me - stay on my wing, help me get through this segment.

All right. Ed, my question - my first question is to you, how did you get the idea to do this?

REV. ED YOUNG, PASTOR, FELLOWSHIP CHURCH: Well, I got the idea from Lisa. You know, we challenged our church a couple of years ago for the married couples to have sex for seven straight days, and she gave me the idea. It was very, very well received. And then men were like giving us a standing ovation and the ladies were like, wow.

But the response was so overwhelming. We had an opportunity to write this book called "The Sexperiment." And obviously marriage is much more than sex. However, sex is the super glue. So we decided to put the bed on top of the church to make a statement that God is pro-sex and He wants us to do it his way.

PINSKY: You know, have we gone - we ask kind of a question that I`m serious about, which is have we gone through a period in this culture where sex is something that was thought of that just left to young people? Mike, you can ring in on this if you want. Young people and single people, but do we really should be promoting it as a healthy past time activity for a married couple?

Look at that. That`s very lovely. By the way, it looks cold out there.

LISA YOUNG, ADVOCATES HEALTHY SEX IN MARRIAGE: Yes. It`s pretty chilly out here. We`re actually snuggling together in bed to keep warm.

But definitely, you know, sex is just something that the church has been very silent about. And we`re bombarded through our culture with so many different innuendos and queues and all of that, and there`s so much to know and express and what God`s word says.

So this is just an opportunity for us to shout it from the rooftops. It`s not that people don`t think about sex, but they don`t think deeply enough about it. And so we`re just saying, hey, it`s multi facetted. It is not just physical. It`s spiritual, emotional, relational, and time for married couples to accept what God has given them as a beautiful gift and use it as a beautiful way in marriage.

PINSKY: And, listen, they pulled back, Mike, and gave that shot. I know you`ve been on many sets that looked kind of like that. I`m not sure it was married couples on a rooftop.

MIKE CATHERWOOD, CO-HOST, "LOVELINE": No. You know what? It`s not safe for the type of audience that we`re dealing with right now.

I`m curious. Are you guys wearing pants at all underneath those covers?

L. YOUNG: Absolutely.

E. YOUNG: Yes, we are. No - no hanky panky on the rooftop. That`s for later.

L. YOUNG: Yes. We`re not engaged in the seven day sexperiment right now this week. So, no, this is just a statement that we`ve been talking all day long with different couples and people from around the country and around the world about their marriages and about negotiating through a lot of the blockades for intimacy. And we`re just been bringing that to the web audience, if you will.

And -

PINSKY: Well, again - again, I have to interrupt you guys because I have to go. And I guess when we read the Old Testament now whenever when they talk about washing the feet, we need to understand that they`re talking about what Lisa and Ed are talking about there.

CATHERWOOD: I guess so. I`m concerned about his anatomy in that cold weather, you know what happens, Dr. Drew.

PINSKY: Yes. That`s why she said -

CATHERWOOD: It gets a little too chilly.

PINSKY: You`ll be shocked. Well, that`s why she - that`s why said there`s nothing going on there.

But we`ll be right back. Thank you guys for joining us.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, my daughter has to -


PINSKY (voice-over): Why are these parents screaming, because of something called the scream room at their kids` school.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The kids call it the scream room. Supposedly, there`s screaming, there`s urinating on the floors, kids are kicking doors.

PINSKY: Some say it`s a way to let kids with behavioral problems blow off steam. Others say it turns a place of learning into a house of horrors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can hear the kids screaming.

PINSKY: Tormenting whaling echoes through the halls and classrooms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some students have banged their heads in the timeout room.

PINSKY: How would you feel if these were your children?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All he did was take the child further away so nobody else could hear it.



PINSKY (on-camera): Wow! People getting very upset about this story. Again, we`re coming to you live. And tonight, news out of Connecticut. Officials are doing away with the so-called "scream rooms" at an elementary school where misbehaving students were reportedly sent to calm down. The space is described as small and windowless were initially supported by administrators who defended their use as so-called "timeout rooms."

But irate parents argue the rooms are more like solitary confinement and that the screams their children, meaning the kids who are sitting in school not the ones in the scream room, that screaming that the children in school were hearing was not only distracting but disturbing and maybe even traumatizing. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Confusion with kids screaming to have to go in a room and scream. Let them scream. Make them scream 25 feet away from everybody instead of right in the center and middle of everything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was a school that they told me that he can come to because they had the resources and they don`t have the resources for my son.


PINSKY: Interesting. And one eight-year-old student gave this account out of the mouths of babes.


NICHOLAS CONNELY, FARM HILL STUDENT: I just seen them in the room with a girl holding the door, and the girl was in there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the kids seem sad when they have to go in that room?

CONNELY: Yes. They`re kicking the door.


PINSKY: Joining me tonight, Dr. Harvey Karp, assistant professor of pediatrics at UCLA School of Medicine. Brian Robillard, I believe that`s how you pronounce you name, has two children who are attending the elementary school. He is with us by phone. And Jill Konopka is a reporter from WFSB in Hartsburg (ph). Joe, can you give us the latest -- thanks for joining us by the way. Last night meeting looked, I mean, look dangerously contentious, but it did bring about some change, did it not.

JILL KONOPKA, REPORTER, WFSB-TV: It definitely did. Parents were outraged. There were about 150 people at this meeting. Some of the students came out as well. And today, the district planned this meeting, this conference saying that they have ordered all administration within the district to stop using what the parents refer to as "scream rooms," what they call as time out rooms for students who do not have a specialized, legally created plan.

And so, the students out will be able to use the rooms. They`re saying, they`re creating a new modified room in the second floor of this Farm Hill Elementary School, and it will be modified more so so that kids who need to be put in there, it will be better when needed for their safety, and if necessary, that they`ll have to go in there.

PINSKY: Jill, when I hear you talk about this, I`m afraid it could generate more outrage in my viewers, because I think we need to set up the specifics about what`s going on there at the schools. These are, you correct me at any point if I misspeak. These are public elementary schools, and the laws in Connecticut are such that people can choose to put their kids if they have special needs.

They can choose to mainstream them however they please, and that Connecticut schools are supposed to provide, as we heard that, we have one woman appropriately saying, the school is supposed to provide appropriate kinds of resources to manage these kids, and yet, it seems like they are completely -- by creating a new room with, maybe, softer corners doesn`t seem like they`re really solving the problem, does it?

KONOPKA: No, and that`s sort of what we walked away with, too, from this press conference today. They wouldn`t allow us to ask any questions afterwards. And parents said they still had concerns. You know, was there going to be padding inside this new room that`s going to appear on the second floor in a more modified version, and you know, used for these students as well.

It seems that there are still a lot of unanswered questions right now, and they wouldn`t actually take any questions from us.

They just read this brief statement that was actually about 164 words, saying that, you know, they will no longer be using the two rooms at the Farm Hill Elementary School, but they will create this modified room for kids who need it that are special needs that have actually, you know, their parents have authorized this long term education plan for them that they are allowed to go into those rooms.

From what we found out today from the PTA president who actually brought forth this issue on January 6th, by sending out a letter in the form of an e-mail to the mayor and district officials, including the superintendent and the board of education, she said that, you know, parents had seen some of these kids.

You know, teachers were holding the door shut. And from what she gathered, that the door was actually locked. Kids were in there. They were banging their heads against the walls from what she heard, and that there was actually urinating occurring inside the room, too.

PINSKY: OK. Again --

KONOPKA: A lot of questions --

PINSKY: Yes. A lot of -- but thank you for the report, Jill, from on the ground there locally. I appreciate it. But yes, this is still -- I`m not feeling any better about this story. I want to go to a parent who has a children at the school.

Brian Robillard, you`re on the phone with us. Can you tell us what the parents are expecting and what it`s like for a kid to be at this school? Again, you don`t have special needs children, is that correct?

BRIAN ROBILLARD, HAS TWO KIDS AT FARM HILL MIDDLETOWN, CONN.: that`s correct. I just have two boys that are in the school system.

PINSKY: It seems, and the kids must be exposed to awful stuff, right?

ROBILLARD: They do come home, and they hear screaming, and they see some of the behavior of the other children.

PINSKY: What do the parents want?

ROBILLARD: I think my view maybe is a little bit different than what`s been in the headlines. I think I speak for a lot of parents at the school that the scream rooms are sort of a symptom, and there`s an overall behavior problem.

And I think with a small number of children in the school, but the fact that they`re verbally and physically abusive to the teachers, that they are severe disruption to the school and everything, that you know, quite frankly, and I don`t think they`re the special needs kids.

These are other children, and they should probably be suspended or expelled as per the policy of the board of education.


ROBILLARD: And children are afraid to go to school, not because of the scream rooms but because of the behavior of the other kids.

PINSKY: OK. Brian, thank you for that. Dr. Karp, this is a very complicated situation. As usual, when things get reported in the press, it sounds like a simple headline, and when you start digging in, it`s very complicated. You heard the story. I think we sort of set up what the situation is. What do we do with this?

DR. HARVEY KARP, PEDIATRICIAN: Well, I think it`s crazy that you lock kids in a room by themselves. You know, there are other ways to taken care of kids who have emotional problems or disruptive behaviors.

PINSKY: But let me ask -- I hate to get off the scream room because that`s the headline, but from talking to Jill and Brian, I`m beginning to think the problem is the policy in Connecticut that mixing populations like this may not be the best thing for either population.

KARP: Well, you have to have strategies. I mean, you know kids are going to be disruptive. So, when they`re disruptive, you have to have a strategy. A strategy that`s acceptable. It`s not acceptable to have a strategy where you lock a kid in a closet because they`re misbehaving.

You know, we used to go to the principal`s office, especially if this is for kids who have special needs or disabilities. Those are the last kids you want to be locking up by themselves. So, you have to have either teachers that can address this. Some of these kids maybe should be taken out of the school. They may need to be in a different school, because --

PINSKY: Well, I think that`s my question. Are teachers and elementary school administrators, the people that should making decisions about very complicated kids, putting them in a room. Here`s how I deal with them. I put them in a room, I hold the door.

KARP: OK. But the poor teachers, they don`t have the training and they don`t have the support.

PINSKY: That is very telling. That, to me, if that`s true, that they really don`t know, these are professionals in their area, but don`t have the training or the support from whomever it should be, the state, whatever, there`s really a huge problem here.

KARP: We have a lot of problems, no questions about it. And it`s not even -- we don`t know what the class size is. You know, if you have a class of 50 kids, it`s going to be that much harder to control them. It`s not just in Connecticut, though. This is across the country. And it`s not just the scream room.

We have over 20 states in this country that allow teachers to pinch kids, to hit them with paddles, drag them across the floor. So, we have real problems in our educational system and knowing how to encourage kids to be good behaviors rather than trying to intimidate them into it.

PINSKY: In the minute I have left, do you have any suggested solutions or strategies?

KARP: Well, I think that there are a lot of strategies. One has to do with class size. You want to reduce class size. You want to increase the training that teachers have to be able to handle these.

PINSKY: I hate to add more for what poor teachers have to deal with. This is not the problem of teachers. You know what I mean?

KARP: But it is a social problem.


KARP: No, but teachers are part of the society.

PINSKY: But maybe they need more support with, you know, social workers and professionals that understand how to deal with this stuff can support the teachers.

KARP: You know, one of the things that`s happened in school also is we`ve taken away physical education. We`ve taken away --

PINSKY: Music.


PINSKY: Yes. Yes.

KARP: And that comes with a price, too. Kids need that to, you know, be able to vent some of their energies.

PINSKY: Dr. Karp, thank you very much. Brian, thank you. Jill, thank you for that report.

And I want to remind you, coming up at the end of the show, I`ve got a new segment called "Doctor`s Orders" with comedian Jeff Ross joining me.

But first, what are the chances that your kids could be placed in something like a scream room? You might want to check your state law and stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She can hear the kids screaming on the top of their lungs while she`s trying to read.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You need to take your child out of this school.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The kids call it the "scream room," because they hear screaming. Supposedly, there`s screaming, there`s urinating on the floors, you know, ambulance has been called.


PINSKY: Breaking news out of Connecticut tonight, and again, we are live. A school in Middletown will no longer use scream rooms, except for some students in a separate areas called a suite area, created for -- suite, S-U-I-T-E -- create for timeout use. Is this what parents wanted? I`m all for timeouts. I mean, timeouts are very effective. This is not that.

Joining me is Dr. Joseph Haraszti, a psychiatry specializing and treating children and adolescence and Connecticut state senator, Toni Boucher. Senator, can you tell me why there`s such an international outcry, number one? And can you explain -- I understand there`s some confusion about the laws in Connecticut. Help us understand this.

STATE SENATOR TONI BOUCHER, (R) CT: There is, in fact, Dr. Drew. What people should understand is that this is a complex situation. Much has changed in the area of education, particularly, special education. The movement towards mainstreaming and inclusion has led to having more severely impacted students now in the mainstream population in school.

And oftentimes, the behavior that was described previously was not something that was generally observed. And as a result, by mutual agreement on the part of the parents, the schools and the doctors, when they go into a parent placement team meeting, some of these type of seclusions are, in fact, agreed upon by all parties concerned.

What transpired in this particular situation is that using it for a population that hasn`t agreed to this should have only been used in very extreme cases where there`s imminent danger to the student itself or to a member of the staff or to a peer. And, in fact, many of our schools no longer have a particular room necessarily.

They can for certain situations, but many of them have done away with this and found alternative means, whether to access some of our social services organizations in neighboring cities or towns and bringing the specialists, but there`s also extensive training that`s really transpired.

This set of legislation actually took place after someone, a young student actually died as a result of really strong restraints that were used at a psychiatric hospital for juveniles back in 1998. At that point - -

PINSKY: OK. Senator, I`m going to interrupt you, because we`re getting off the topic of these rooms being used in an elementary school, and you do bring up the issue, and Dr. Haraszti worked together in psychiatric hospital for years. We are very aware of the scrutiny against using rigorous restraints of psychiatric patients, but that`s a professional staff and a professional environment, and they made great strides there.

But my understanding is, and Dr. Haraszti, you back me up on this, that there have still been deaths in public schools with the use, around the country, with the use of this scream room like techniques.

BOUCHER: That`s very true.

Dr. JOSEPH HARASZTI, PSYCHIATRIST, SPECIALIZES IN TREATING CHILDREN: A recent Congressional hearing in March, 2009 where they showed that there were approximately 20 deaths throughout the country related to seclusion of restraints in public school environment in just two states.

PINSKY: And this is because of the mainstreaming of kids with special needs. We`re just not getting the adequate resources for these kids as they attempt to mainstream? Is that the issue?

HARASZTI: No, I don`t think so. I tend to disagree with what the senator is saying. I am very familiar with the laws and regulations in Connecticut. I have reviewed that before coming on. The free and appropriate public education and the least restrictive environment has been a goal of federal education for many years. It`s nothing new.

However, seclusion and restraints has to be done with a tremendous amount of care, and the Connecticut regulations are very specific. They should be used as last resort, and if it is used, there has to be reporting requirements within 24 hours to safe regulatory agencies, and furthermore, that the parents have to be notified.

PINSKY: OK. So, I`m going to stop you there. So, senator, I think you heard it. I think you were going down that path. And so, what Dr. Haraszti is saying is that in Connecticut, they used it as a last resort. There`s reporting requirements to professional organizations, to a mental health team, and they report to parents, but in this particular elementary school, for some reason, things seem to have gotten completely out of hand. Is that accurate?

BOUCHER: I agree with you. I absolutely think that if there wasn`t an immediate threat to the individual student or to staff or peer, it should not have been used, I agree. And we do have very specific guidelines that should be followed, no question about it. And it should be used as a last resort, and in fact, quite a bit of training is given to staff to use alternate means to diffuse the situation such as this.

PINSKY: Let me ask a crazy question, senator. I mean, this sounds like something that requires a lot of resources to be done properly. Can most states afford this kind of thing?

BOUCHER: Well, you bring up the actual point. Remember, a lot of this process has to be agreed upon by the parents as well as the school community to make sure that it is properly used there. And they do explain that more severely impacted students are now certainly, and more appropriately, being taught in their local community, which is a good thing.

Mainstreaming has been a wonderful, wonderful direction for our country and our state to go in. You want to include that student as close to his community as possible, and certainly, giving them the kind of learning environment that other students are certainly exposed to.

However, that also raises the issue that you just said. Certain placements might be better in a different type of setting where there are, the staff and the professionals, that can be used for a particular situation.

PINSKY: And thank you, senator. I really appreciate your candor on this topic. But Dr. Haraszti, we have about a minute left. I want to talk about -- so, this happened at this elementary school. What do you think the kids that have been listening to the screaming for who knows how long of their peers, eight-year-olds listening to other kids screaming and the kids who are putting in these seclusion apparatuses, the scream rooms, what do you think these kids may have suffered?

HARASZTI: Well, I think it has tremendous negative impact on the students who are listening to this. They feel helpless. They feel angry. They feel anxious. It provokes a stress response if they hear this day-in and day-out.

PINSKY: And let`s remind ourselves that cortizole is toxic to the brain. If the young brains are developing, it helps them not to develop. They don`t connect.

HARASZTI: I mean, this can actually cause PTSD in (INAUDIBLE) students. And the students who are placed into these situations, you know, after awhile, this becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

PINSKY: These are the kids in the scream room. They start acting out and attracting that kind of attention.

HARASZTI: Exactly. They`re the "bad kids," quote/unquote. So, what needs to be done is some type of a behavioral assessment of the children to try to identify what are kind of behaviors that trigger the inappropriate response.

PINSKY: But again, that`s back to where we started from. I know the senator wants to do this, and again, I appreciate what she was saying. She seemed to be in agreement with you basically that something, you know, this was a giant, giant mistake, in a situation where they were trying to do better, but there`s got --

I`m worried about this if this is the way we`re going nationally, because no state has adequate resources for just about anything. And this is a very costly proposition.


PINSKY: Thank you, guys. I got to take a break. Dr. Haraszti, thank you. And senator, thank you so much. Good luck with what`s going on in Connecticut. I understand this is a well-meaning, but boy, this is something that has gotten away from you, and it`s rather disturbing.

Now, when we come back, I have a new segment. It is called "Doctor`s Orders." Yes, that`s what we`re calling it. And it is only fitting we bring you a brand new segment on Friday the 13th. And I`ve got guest that joins me, my friend, Jeff Ross. Hopefully, this works. And hopefully, you like it. I`m holding my breath. So, hang around for "Doctor`s Orders." Stay with us.


PINSKY: Welcome to our new segment. It is called "Doctor`s Orders." I`ll be diagnosing some of the most absurd items of the week, discuss them with my special guests, and offer a prescription that might make us all feel better about everyday nonsense that makes it`s grown out there in the media.

In short, this is my way of saying, WTF. My wingman tonight is comedian and lover of the absurd, Jeffrey Ross. There he is. My celebrity question to start this, kick this off is from Rob Schneider, star of "Rob" on CBS.


ROB SCHNEIDER, ACTOR: Why was I attracted to women who had low self- esteem. Why?


PINSKY: Why, Jeff.

JEFFREY ROSS, COMEDIAN: Why does he? I think comedians were attracted to the girls who think we`re funny.

PINSKY: And those typically have low self-esteem need to be fixed (ph). Very interesting. So, become a rock star, not a comedian is your basic advice to him.

ROSS: I believe and Rob probably knows this by now. If you can make a woman laugh at herself, you can make her do anything.

PINSKY: That is a scary prospect. I know you both well. But, Rob, you and I had many conversations about you and your co-dependency. I`m glad it something you used to do and that you`re better now.

Now, a man from Madison, Wisconsin has been jailed on drug charges. His name, Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop (ph). He is 30 years old.


PINSKY: His name was Jeffrey Drew Wilschke before he changed it -- would you change your name to Zopittybop-Bop-Bop? And he was arrested for cannabis charges. You`d be schoked to know.


PINSKY: Shocking.

ROSS: That`s a song that (SINGING) David Lee Roth.

PINSKY: I think that`s what it is. I think this guy wanted to be David Lee Roth, but he decided to be a stoner instead.

ROSS: That is the greatest name. My last name is Lipschultz. It`s an old Hebrew word. It means, hey, you ought to change that. It`s a Ross.


ROSS: So, I sympathize for this man.

PINSKY: My prescription for this gentleman is, first of all, to society at large, this gentleman may be the best case for not legalizing marijuana.


PINSKY: And I have an introduction to make to you, met a world peace. Let`s see how this work out for both of you.

A woman in Winnipeg was shot in the eye and needed treatment. This is no kidding. This is an actually true story, but she refused any care until she finished her beer.

ROSS: Wow!

PINSKY: Your kind of girl?

ROSS: This is quite a party place, Winnipeg.

PINSKY: It is.

ROSS: This is at New Year`s?


ROSS: Her eye fell out?

PINSKY: Yes. There`s her picture.

ROSS: Oh, my Lord.

PINSKY: That`s actually her picture.

ROSS: And she would not take medical attention until she finished her beer. Wow! So, this is in Canada, in other words, at New Years, we watch the eyeball drop?


PINSKY: Even more shocking in Canada, they drink a lot of beer, that`s surprising.

ROSS: They`re taking the national healthcare for granted.

PINSKY: There you go. She figured they should just come get her and take care of her. She`s entitled to her beer, but I have a prescription for her, lady. Nothing wrong with finishing your beer, but please, do not have children.

ROSS: Then, she should date Rob Schneider.


PINSKY: Here now is the headline for you all. Meteorologist in tub with corpse. That is the headline. Police in Arkansas have been investigating the death of a man who was found in either a bath tub or hot tub --

ROSS: Hot tub.

PINSKY: Hot tub. With a TV weather man who himself, there he is. He, of course, was alive. Obviously or allegedly, there might have been some substances involved here. What`s the lesson to be learned?

ROSS: This is how I want to go. Getting off in a hot tub with your tush against the jet. That`s how everybody should die, doc. What`s the problem? Take me now.

PINSKY: All right. Here`s the deal, prescription is if it`s not too hot in the hot tub, leave the alcohol out of the story. Jeff`s new comedy tour is "Jeff Ross Goes to America." Tickets can be purchased through Jeff`s website, Nancy Grace is next. We`ll see you next time.