Data Reveal Disparities in Schools' Use of Restraints
New federal data that for the first time attempt to catalog how many times students were isolated or restrained—by a school employee or with a device—show that, in many cases, those techniques are applied disproportionately to students with disabilities, particularly black students with disabilities.
As part of its most recent data collection , the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights asked more than 72,000 public schools to report how many students were isolated or restrained for the purpose of keeping them from harming themselves, classmates, or school employees. Although such techniques most often are associated with special education, the data show they are used with all students.
Among the findings: Of students with disabilities who were mechanically restrained—which might mean being handcuffed, tied down, strapped to a chair, or held with equipment for that purpose—a disproportionate share, 44 percent, were black. Only 21 percent of the overall population of students...
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