Department of Education Weighs in on Restraint, Seclusion A “dear colleague” letter from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights reminds schools to refrain from using restraint or seclusion for discipline, outlines limitations on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, and warns that the practices could be discriminatory. In the correspondence, the agency refers ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   March 01, 2017
Department of Education Weighs in on Restraint, Seclusion
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Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   March 01, 2017
Department of Education Weighs in on Restraint, Seclusion
The ASHA Leader, March 2017, Vol. 22, 6. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB2.22032017.6
The ASHA Leader, March 2017, Vol. 22, 6. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB2.22032017.6
A “dear colleague” letter from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights reminds schools to refrain from using restraint or seclusion for discipline, outlines limitations on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, and warns that the practices could be discriminatory.
In the correspondence, the agency refers to a 2012 resource document, “Restraint and Seclusion,” which recommended that school districts never use physical restraint or seclusion as discipline, never use mechanical restraint, and if a child’s behavior poses imminent danger, that only trained school officials use physical restraint or seclusion.
According to the letter, 2013–2014 school year data indicate that students with disabilities, who number 12 percent of the nation’s students, comprised 67 percent of students subjected to restraint and seclusion. The disparity suggests the possibility of discrimination if restraint and seclusion practices are different for students with disabilities or if they deny a free appropriate public education.
The letter defines restraint and seclusion and uses descriptive scenarios to illustrate incidences of discrimination or the denial of appropriate education.
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March 2017
Volume 22, Issue 3