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School is Not Supposed to Hurt: Update on Progress in 2009 to Prevent and Reduce Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

February 2, 2010

Please read the NDRN report here (PDF).

A couple of clarifications

NDRN states that "Missouri allows the use of restraint and seclusion only to ensure the immediate physical safety of the student or others" (p. 4); however, the law only states that locking a student in a confined space is not allowed unless waiting for law enforcement in emergency situation. While this meets the current federal definition of seclusion, it does not prohibit blocking a door, holding a student into a confined space, or otherwise preventing a student from leaving a confined area. Restraint is not regulated at the state level at all, again left up to the school districts already failing in this area to define and regulate. Please note that if MO HB1543 passes with the vague "use of force to protect persons or property" language, things are about to get much worse for students in Missouri, so please contact your Representatives--especially if you have a story of misused restraint (force)--to prevent this language from staying in the bill.

The committee creating the model policy did somewhat agree to the above NDRN statement (see meeting minutes), but school districts are not mandated to adopt any or all of the model policy once it is developed.

The NDRN report also states that "The final version of the law, while not banning the use of restraint and seclusion rooms outright, does require restrictions on use and requires accountability" (p. 46). I am unaware of any accountability tied to this law, other than schools must have a policy or they are out of compliance. Especially since this law is tied to the Safe Schools Act, there's no recourse a family can take if their child is inappropriately restrained/secluded (unless the door is mechanically locked).


Copy and paste URL: http://www.ndrn.org/sr/srjan10/Schoo-%20is-Not-Supposed-to-Hurt-(NDRN).pdf

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