Friday, January 23, 2009

School Is Not Supposed to Hurt!

The National Disability Rights Network recently released a report of their study on restraint and seclusion of school children, many with disabilities. They chronicle a number of instances where children were injured or even killed by these techniques. You have to read it. Here is a link.

The federal Office of Special Education Programs, that oversees implementation of the special education law, has issued an opinion on this issue. OSEP ruled that while it encourages the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports to address behavior issues for students with disabilities, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act does not prohibit the use of restraints or other aversive techniques for students with disabilities. Letter to Anonymous 50 IDELR 228 (OSEP 3/17/2008)

Professor Lloyd had an interesting post on this report. He says that there are times that a teacher must use restraint and seclusion, but that the teacher must be well trained and use the techniques correctly. Professor Lloyd shares my disgust, and the disgust of most reasonable people, at the examples spelled out in the report.

Also upset by the report was Congressman Miller, Chairman of the House Education Committee. He has scheduled hearings upon the topic of the report.

Have any of you who read this blog had problems with restraint or seclusion?


  1. I do not feel that I would want to risk my career and reputation by restraining any student. When you put your hands on another person, I think you are setting yourself up for possible lawsuits and charges of assault. I would not want my own child restrained by someone at school so I wouldn't want to do it to someone else's child. If it gets bad enough where a student needs to be restrained, then the parent needs to come get the student and remove the student from the situation. I do not see how the schools can come out the winner in any situation like this.

  2. I guess that there must be some situations where a child must be restrained to protect himself or others. I do think that there should be specific training on these methods, and that they should be used in conjunction with positive behavior supports, etc. I do see you point though loonyhiker, especially as to these more aversive kinds of restraints. The report details some pretty cruel examples!


  3. I would like to comment as a SPED teacher.
    Emotional and Behavior Disorder (EBD) fall under the SPED umbrella. I have seen students that needed to be restrained to keep them from severely hurting themselves and innocent children in their classroom or school campus. Many children have severe emotional disorders and they can become very violent in the blink of an eye. They come from homes that are very violent and abusive. The parents of these children will not come pick them up from school, they won't even answer the phone. The school officials are forced to deal with a completely out of control child.
    Add to this that most of these children take very hardcore medications. Have you ever experienced the strength of an angry drugged up 10 year old? They will flip over desks, tables, punch teachers, administrators, the police and any other innocent bystander. I have seen children go into rages because they were told they could not go to the snack machine. Something that would make many children upset but they would get over it. EBD children will scream at the top of their lungs, kick things around or just take off running out the door.
    Yes schools could do a better job but this is a societal issue. As long as drug companies and doctors keep writing prescriptions you will deal with little drug addicts. Prescriptions that have never been tested on children!!!
    Combination of emotional disorder, untested drugs and abusive home life.
    If someone can think of a way to protect these children from themselves and protect innocent children around them I would love to hear it.
    I am one of the few people in my state that love these kids and enjoy working with them and still I am at a loss for the answer....

  4. all of you are right in your thinking but if we see it from other perspective of special children then it is necessary to support them as well. So we should appreciate and encourage this post. :)
    Good Luck.