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Report: states vary greatly in their seclusion/restraint policies

The laws on special education are not the only rules that can have big impacts on students with disabilities. Among the others that can prove quite impactful are the rules in their state when it comes to school disciplinary matters. There are many issues related to disciplinary incidents that could come up for children with disabilities and other students. This includes issues related to restraint and seclusion.

The federal government currently has no mandatory policies on seclusion and restraint in schools. While it has issued guidance on this topic, it leaves direct regulation to the states.

A recent report looked at how in-line the laws and policies of each of the states were with the federal guidelines on restraint/seclusion in schools, as of late summer 2013. The report found that, while a vast majority of states have at least some polices or laws in place regarding restraint/seclusion in schools, the states vary considerably in the specifics of their laws/policies. This includes in how closely they follow federal guidelines.

As this illustrates, there can be a lot of variation in what sorts of rules schools are subject to when it comes to behavioral/disciplinary incidents involving students with disabilities.

When behavioral/disciplinary matters come up for a special needs child (such as matters related to restraint/seclusion), among the things it can be important for the child’s parents to have a clear picture of is what rights their child has and what measures can be taken to protect these rights. What rights a child has in such a situation can be impacted by many things, including the laws and policies in their state. Skilled California education attorneys can help parents in the state who are navigating school disciplinary matters involving a special need child understand what the laws and policies that apply to the matter mean for their child’s overall situation.

Source: Disability Scoop, “States Lack Consensus On Restraint, Seclusion In Schools,” Shaun Heasley, April 4, 2017

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