The Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Public Schools: The Legal Issues Jody Feder

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Published: October 14th 2010

Kindle Edition

20 pages


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The Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Public Schools: The Legal Issues  by  Jody Feder

The Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Public Schools: The Legal Issues by Jody Feder
October 14th 2010 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 20 pages | ISBN: | 10.65 Mb

Seclusion and restraint have been used in various situations to deal with violent or noncompliant behavior. Because of congressional interest in the use of seclusion and restraint in schools, including passage of H.R. 4247 and the introduction of S.MoreSeclusion and restraint have been used in various situations to deal with violent or noncompliant behavior.

Because of congressional interest in the use of seclusion and restraint in schools, including passage of H.R. 4247 and the introduction of S. 2860, 111th Congress, first session, this report focuses on the legal issues concerning the use of these techniques in schools, including their application both to children covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and to those not covered by IDEA.Several reports have documented instances of deaths and injuries resulting from the use of seclusion or restraints in schools but, until the Department of Education (ED) issued reporting requirements in March 2010, there was no general reporting requirement.

On May 19, 2009, in conjunction with a hearing by the House Education and Labor Committee, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a study examining the use of seclusion and restraint in the education setting, finding hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death due to the use of seclusion and restraint. On July 31, 2009, the Secretary of Education sent letters to Chief State School Officers noting the problems identified by the GAO report and in the May 19 congressional hearing, encouraging each state to review its current policies, and stating that the Chief State School Officers would be contacted by ED by August 15, 2009, to discuss relevant state laws, regulations, policies, and guidance.

The results of these discussions are posted on ED’s website.Federal law does not contain general provisions relating to the use of seclusion and restraints, and there are no specific federal laws concerning the use of seclusion and restraint in public schools. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires a free appropriate public education for children with disabilities, and an argument could be made that some uses of seclusion and restraint would violate this requirement. In addition, certain procedures may violate constitutional rights or state laws. Although there are some judicial cases, they do not provide clear guidance on when, if ever, seclusion and restraint may be used in schools.

H.R. 4247, and S. 2860, 111th Congress, first session, and S. 3895, 111th Congress, second session, would establish minimum safety standards in schools to prevent and reduce the inappropriate use of restraint and seclusion. H.R. 4247 was passed by the House on March 3, 2010.



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