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Tue October 30, 2012
Agencies Speak Out Against Restraint, Seclusion of School Children
The Kentucky Division of Protection & Advocacy and the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities have released a booklet highlighting the potentially dangerous and harmful effects of restraining and secluding school children. Director Marsha Hockensmith says Kentucky Protection & Advocacy has received more than 100 complaints over the past five years of public schools immobilizing students or confining them to a closed room.
“There is no required reporting, you don’t have to notify parents if you’ve restrained or secluded the child at school, and really no regulation period with the use of that,” said Hockensmith.
She says that’s why her agency supports a new state regulation approved by the Department of Education that would prohibit physical restraint of students except in cases of imminent danger. Several teachers and school administrators, however, say the rule is vague and restricts the ability to keep other students, staff, and school property safe. The proposal must still be approved by a regulation review committee before it takes effect next school year.
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