Students with disabilities restrained

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Records obtained by the Times Union show that staff at New York schools serving children with disabilities “intentionally misused physical restraints on students.”

The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, a state agency that investigates allegations of mistreatment, “substantiated 214 such cases between 2016 and 2021,” the paper reports. “The center classifies these encounters as a form of abuse.”

Michael Rozalski, a professor at SUNY Geneseo who studies restraint techniques, told the Times Union that those cases are likely the “tip of the iceberg.”

Read the entire article here. It’s a thorough and important look at the practice.

Seclusion and physical restraint are sometimes used as a way of preventing students from hurting themselves, other children or school staff members. Many students, however, are not able to communicate with caregivers about what happened to them during the day, which means families are uninformed about the use of these practices.

To help counter this, New York State last summer passed a new law that requires same-day notification of a parent or guardian of a student with a disability where certain behavioral interventions are used.


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