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"The GAO report led to pending federal legislation designed to eliminate or restrict the use of seclusion and restraint in public schools. " I eagerly await the elimination of the use of seclusion and restraint in ALL schools. Let's get real: The problem with the situation is that untrained individuals are often brought into the situation. At the moment, people think they are doing something right. When your principal/education director asks the front office person or maintenance person to lend a hand in restraining a child, they are doing it because that person their boss. They are not thinking about the student or the reasons, but doing what their boss has asked of them. First off the principal/Special Educator director should be trained in very specific method of restraint, as should anyone who ever lends a hand on a child. Further more, in the situation I was in, the student was simply trying to hide. He was not in danger of hurting himself or anyone else. He needed to be given space and watched from a distance until his parents could be contacted or he calmed down. The restraint (if you want to call it that) was used for behavior correction and punishment. The education director was a large woman, weighing at least 5 times the weight of the small boy. When she needed a break, she asked two grown men to take her place. A 170 pound man should not be needed to restrain a 40-pound boy! The child was traumatized and had bruises on his arms for a few days. I don't think the parents ever knew their child had been touched. I imagine that situations like this and worse, happen every day. This is simply child abuse, plain and simple. This child will have that experience of being restrained in his mental memory, and it will now possibly be something that he does to his children, or other children. Yes, I agree there are situations when a child is out of control, but that is a time to call the parents or have a counselor or highly trained individual be available at all times. This is not the case in most schools. Again , let's get real: Let's ask ourselves what needs to happen to make sure that random and untrained individuals in subjective situations are not abusing children in schools. The training used at my current organization is Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training Program. Regardless, there still needs to be very specific guidelines when working with Special Education students. Thank you for your consideration to this important issue.
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Sep 2, 2012