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Restraint and Seclusion
The Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities supports the position highlighted in the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) report, School is Not Supposed to Hurt.” The Council recommends that the Missouri State Legislature and State Board of Education enact legislation that will:
“A) Ban the use of:
(i) Seclusion in schools.
(ii) Prone restraints, or any other restraint that can suffocate an individual,
(iii) All other types of restraint in schools except restraints as applied by
trained individuals where the immediate physical safety of the student,
staff, or others is clearly required.
B) Require the use of evidence based positive behavioral supports and other
C) Require prompt reporting of the use of restraint or seclusion on children to
the parents/guardians, state boards of education, the local Protection and
Advocacy system, and the United States Department of Education.
D) Require teacher, school administrator, counselor, and para-professional
certification standards to require extensive education and training in the use
of positive behavioral supports, crisis reduction and management, de-
escalation techniques, and other best practices.
E) Require extensive training in the use of positive behavioral supports, crisis
reduction and management, de-escalation techniques, and other best
practices for other individuals, including School Resource Officers, with
contact with children in a school setting. “ (School is Not Supposed to Hurt, 2009)
The Council is committed to ensuring that all children with disabilities are educated in a safe environment without the unwarranted use of seclusion and prone restraints. The Council also believes that school personnel should be equipped with the tools to implement positive behavioral supports and other methods that have been determined as evidence based best-practice.
The Council believes that all children with developmental disabilities:
• are entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
• can attend their home school district in the least restricted environment (LRE) of the general education classroom
• can be successful in the general education setting with the necessary modifications and supports
This belief is supported by provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – 2004 (IDEA).
The Council also believes that:
• at no time, should prone restraints be used.
• limited restraints should only be used as a last resort when a child or others are in immediate danger.
• the use of seclusion rooms should be banned.
• students exhibiting challenging behavior are trying to communicate that something is wrong.
• school personnel need the tools to effectively implement evidence based practices to include the use of positive behavior supports.
Unfortunately, methods of disciplining youth with disabilities across the nation include the use of restraints and seclusion. In February 2009, the media reported on the use of seclusion rooms in the Francis Howell School District. In addition, on February 19, 2009, parents called into the Charlie Brennan radio show and indicated that they were aware of restraints and seclusion being used in four different schools.
The Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities (MPCDD) is a federally funded, 23-member, consumer-driven council appointed by the Governor. Its mandate is to plan, advocate for, and give advice concerning programs and services for persons with developmental disabilities that will increase their opportunities for independence, productivity, and integration into communities.