School Climate & Safety

Restraint, Seclusion Data to Be Shared

By Nirvi Shah — June 07, 2011 1 min read

Although federal legislation governing student restraint and seclusion remains elusive, the U.S. Department of Education is for the first time sharing information on using those methods intended to calm students and keep them from harming themselves or someone else.

The department’s office of special education programs has been working with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for about two years on a paper about those controversial methods, Alexa Posny, the assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services, said in May.

While the document expected to be available this fall won’t be official guidance from the Education Department, Ms. Posny said the paper will describe the principles that school staff members should consider when using restraints and seclusion, which are typically used with students with disabilities.

In the fall, the Education Department also will share school- and district-level data about restraint and seclusion—information that hasn’t been available until now.

Since 2009, schools and districts have been required to report, through the Civil Rights Data Collection, information about the number of students physically restrained, mechanically restrained, and secluded.

The use of restraints and seclusion has been under scrutiny for several years. A 2009 Government Accountability Office report found incidents in which students were severely injured or even died as a result of being restrained or secluded.

Following that report, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent a letter to chief state school officers encouraging them to review their current policies and guidelines about restraint and seclusion techniques and, if appropriate, revise them to ensure students’ safety.

In April, a bill was introduced in U.S. House of Representatives that would, among other provisions, limit physical restraint and locked seclusion, allowing their use only in cases in which the student or someone else was in imminent danger of injury, and only when employed by trained staff members.

A version of this article appeared in the June 08, 2011 edition of Education Week as Restraint, Seclusion Data to Be Shared

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Climate & Safety Interactive Which Districts Have Cut School Policing Programs?
Which districts have taken steps to reduce their school policing programs or eliminate SRO positions? And what do those districts' demographics look like? Find out with Education Week's new interactive database.
A police officer walks down a hall inside a school
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (images: Michael Blann/Digital/Vision; Kristen Prahl/iStock/Getty Images Plus )
School Climate & Safety These Districts Defunded Their School Police. What Happened Next?
Six profiles of districts illustrate the tensions, successes, and concerns that have accompanied the changes they've made to their school police programs over the last year.
Deering High School in Portland, Maine, one of two schools to have their SROs removed.
Deering High School in Portland, Maine, one of two schools to have their SROs removed.
Ryan David Brown for Education Week
School Climate & Safety Defunded, Removed, and Put in Check: School Police a Year After George Floyd
Education Week has identified 40 school districts that defunded their police after last summer's Black Lives Matter protests.
Police officer outside of a school
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (image: Bastiaan Slabbers/iStock)
School Climate & Safety Biden Team to Revisit How Schools Should Ensure Racial Equity in Discipline
The Trump administration pulled a directive on fair discipline for students of color. Biden's Education Department will review the issue.
4 min read
a student sits alone in a hallway
Collage by Laura Baker/Education Week (Image: DigitalVision)