restraint and seclusion

The Albany Times Union reports that New York’s Board of Regents unanimously passed new regulations preventing teachers from restraining students face down or isolating them alone in rooms they can’t leave. It also approved a provision clarifying that corporal punishment is banned in all schools.

The practices affect a disproportionate number of students with disabilities nationwide. Such students represent 12% of students in public schools but 58% of students placed in seclusion or involuntary confinement. They are also 75% of students physically restrained at school and make up 25% of students arrested and referred to law enforcement.

The board’s action came less than a year after a Times Union investigation documented problems with public and private schools’ use of the methods on students experiencing behavioral crises.

The investigation, published in October 2022, was the product of a year-long national effort by Hearst Newspapers. I can’t recommend it enough. Of course, it’s continued its reporting (see: article above), so check out the paper’s website for updates.

Also, for the backstory, try NY Education Dept. Presents Proposals to Limit Physical Restraint on School Kids.


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