Two troubling national studies about the use of restraint and seclusion on school children have disability advocates more hopeful than ever that a new federal law will soon restrict these practices to emergency use only.
But some educators, parents, and specialeducation providers who operate schools for children with disabilities oppose such regulation. They argue that restraints and seclusion are therapeutic tools that are frequently needed to prevent some children from hurting themselves or others.
“This is an incredibly complex, contentious issue,” said Joseph Young, executive director of Disability Rights New Jersey. “Our best hope may be to broker an understanding everyone can live with. Then, if a federal law comes about, it would be a bonus.”
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