NY restraint and seclusion

The Times Union continues its excellent coverage on the use of force on schoolchildren with its latest article, which reports that the New York State Education Department is considering new rules to help combat the use of restraint and seclusion.

Its reporting noted that children with disabilities “are frequently confined alone in closet-like ‘time out rooms,’ sometimes multiple times a day or for hours at a time.”

The use of restraint and seclusion as well as corporal punishment in New York schools have been in the news of late, in part thanks to several recent articles: A national Hearst Newspapers investigation on the use of restraint and seclusion; a Times Union investigation finding some 1,600 substantiated cases (and 18,000 complaints) of corporal punishment in New York public schools; and a New York Times article showing corporal punishment is used in some of the private Hasidic-run schools located throughout Brooklyn and the lower Hudson Valley.

Earlier this month, state lawmakers introduced a series of bills that aim to make it clear that corporal punishment is illegal in all schools in the state. Additionally, a new bill, “Keeping All New York Students Safe Act,” has been introduced by New York State Assemblywoman Michaelle C. Solages.

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