New legislation would ban restraints, seclusion rooms for special needs students

Mar 1, 2016

Credit Kevin Spencer / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There’s a bipartisan effort at the state Capitol to ban special education teachers from secluding and restraining students.

Under the legislation, teachers could still restrain and seclude special needs students in emergency situations.

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley chaired the state’s special education task force, which recommended the ban. He has called the practices “barbaric” and “inhumane.”

“When you replace that with the positive behavior interventions and supports, the ability for teachers to teach more effectively and students to learn more goes up,” said Calley.

There’s already a state policy discouraging the practices. But Calley says that hasn’t done enough to stop it.

“Anecdotally, I do know that the non-emergency use of restraints and seclusions rooms is not unusual around our state.”

Of almost two thousand parents Calley’s task force surveyed, about a quarter of them said their child had been subjected to restraints or seclusion.