One possible alternative to seclusion and restraint is the growing use of "positive behavioral intervention support." It uses positive reinforcements, instead of disciplinary ones — such as restraint and seclusion — to deal with students when they get upset or even violent.
The National Disabilities Rights Network in a January 2009 report (School is not Supposed to Hurt) revealed that the use of seclusion and restraint, which are often unregulated and used disproportionately on children with disabilities, frequently result in injury, trauma, and even death.
VIDEO: RESTRAINTS ARE BEING USED IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS ACROSS AMERICA
By Christopher R Rice
An analysis by ProPublica and NPR of data for the 2011-2012 school year of school discipline practices from the U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights Data Collection shows:
*Restraint and seclusion were used at least 267,000 times nationwide. That includes 163,000 instances in which students were restrained. Mechanical restraints were used 7,600 of those times.
*Schools reported that they placed children in seclusion rooms about 104,000 times.
*In 75 percent of the cases, it was kids with disabilities who were restrained or secluded.
A 2009 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan congressional investigative agency, counted at least 20 deaths.
By Kymberly Grosso in Autism in Real Life
A urine soaked scream room. A child stuffed in a duffel bag. Vinegar soaked cotton balls put in a child’s mouth. Slapped on the head with plastic bottles. Child dragged through a playground across asphalt with pants down. Shoved to the floor and dead from asphyxiation. Handcuffed and duct-taped. Degraded. Dehumanized. Traumatized. Mob stories? No, it is just a scratch of the surface of what has happened to children in special education in the past year. Not in a third world country, but here in America.
For more read: Scream Room by The Atlantic
ATLANTA (CN) – Parents claim two special education teachers assaulted and battered their disabled son so badly he died from the abuse.
Ronald and Arthalia Hatcher sued the Fulton County School District, the Fulton County School Board, Fulton County Superintendent Robert Avossa, special education teachers Melanie Pickens and Katherine Dorn Durden, and 15 other Fulton County public school employees, in Fulton County State Court.
This from Bedford VA, provided by Georgia: Families Against Restraint And Seclusion
Bedford County’s school board and several current and former school employees are facing a $20 million lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, a 14-year-old autistic boy was attacked on his school bus by people who were supposed to protect him.
Video captured from a school bus surveillance camera appears to show an adult woman kicking and hitting a young boy. Attorneys say the women is Mary Alice Evans, a former Bedford County teacher’s aide.
YONKERS (JN) — A 16-year-old boy died shouting, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe!” as eight staff members piled onto him on a basketball court at Leake & Watts residential treatment center, a witness told The Journal News.
Corey Foster was being ordered to leave the gym with other students when he took a shot that ricocheted off the basket into the head of one employee.
Another worker then pushed Foster against a wall, and Foster “went for his leg,” said witness William Green, 18. That’s when the staffers converged and took Foster down, Green said.
After Foster said he couldn’t breathe, one staffer replied, “If you can’t breathe, you wouldn’t be talking.” That same person then punched Foster in the head, Green said, adding “I saw the fist connect.” Green, as he was being forced out, said he saw foam coming out of Foster’s mouth.
The account mirrors the statements of two other witnesses, who said several boys were shooting hoops when the staff ordered them to clear the court so they could play. Staff piled onto Foster after he became angry, they said.
“When they got off of him, he was on the ground and wasn’t responsive,” said Antonio Reeder, 17, a resident.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A school resource officer placed two disabled elementary school students in handcuffs because they were acting out, causing physical and emotional pain to the children, their mothers say in a federal lawsuit filed against the official and his boss, the county sheriff.
In a video of one of the incidents released by the American Civil Liberties Union – which filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of the two women from northern Kentucky – an 8-year-old boy struggles and cries out as he sits in a chair, the handcuffs around his biceps and his arms locked behind him.
“You don’t get to swing at me like that,” School Resource Officer Kevin Sumner tells the boy in the video, which was taken by a school administrator. “You can do what we’ve asked you to, or you can suffer the consequences.” It was not clear why the administrator took the video, and school officials had not responded to a request for comment Tuesday.
The handcuffs were too large to fit around the boy’s wrists as well as those of the second child, a 9-year-old girl, the lawsuit says. Both children have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and are identified in court documents only by their initials. The lawsuit says school officials were aware of the students’ disabilities, which include “impulsivity, and difficulty paying attention, complying with directives, controlling emotions and remaining seated.”
Col. Pat Morgan with the Kenton County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment Monday, saying the office had not been officially notified of the lawsuit.
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2015 Report Finds More States Limiting Restraint, Seclusion
2014 Report: Changes Fail To Curb Restraint, Seclusion
2014 Report Prompts Renewed Push To Limit Restraint, Seclusion
More Information from the Government Accountability Office on the Dangers of Seclusion and Restraint.
This is my summary, the actual document is at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09719t.pdf.
a. SECLUSIONS AND RESTRAINTS: Selected Cases of Death and Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers.
ii. Explicitly includes both public and private facilities in the investigation.
iii. Stated Objectives:
1. provide an overview of seclusions and restraint laws applicable to children in public and private schools.
2. verify whether allegations of student death and abuse from the use of these methods are widespread.
3. examine the facts and circumstances surrounding cases where a student died or suffered abuse as a result of being secluded or restrained.
1. Although GAO continues to receive new allegations [in addition to the “thousands” found in ‘07] from parents and advocacy groups, GAO could not find a single Web site, federal agency, or other entity that collects information on the use of these methods or the extent of their alleged abuse. They were able to obtain data showing that thousands of public and private school students were restrained or secluded during the last academic year.
2. Found five States that collect and report information on seclusions and restraints.
3. A brief summary of state law as of the study in 2007: Nineteen states have no laws or regulations related to the use of seclusions or restraints in schools. Seven states place some restrictions of the use of restraints, but do not regulate seclusions… while nineteen require parents to be notified after restraints have been used. Two states require annual reporting on the use of restraints.