Top 5 Things Kansas Parents Should Know: The New Seclusion and Restraint Regulations
- New regulations took effect April 13, 2013, that limit and govern the use of seclusion and restraint for all students in Kansas schools.
- Each school district must comply with the new limits and have a written policy on the use of the dangerous tactics of seclusion and restraint. Parents must get a copy of it. Each district must have a local dispute resolution process in place for a parent who wishes to file a complaint for the use of seclusion and restraint.
- Now the dangerous tactics of seclusion and restraint can only be used if it is an "emergency safety intervention." That means the use of seclusion or physical restraint is only allowed when a student presents an immediate danger to self or others.
- The new regulations thankfully prohibit the use of the most deadly forms of physical restraint which restrict breathing or impede the student’s primary mode of communication. This prohibition has been supported in national efforts by both the disability and education communities (including the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, National Schools Boards Association, National Association of School Psychologists, National PTA, etc.). Unfortunately, some on the State Board are now considering undoing some of these common sense prohibitions. A Coalition is fighting against these negative changes to water down the regulations.
- The current regulations are a step forward, but are still flawed. This Coalition is pursuing efforts to enact 3 changes to ensure this new regulation will be effective and enforceable, including: 1) ensuring effective investigation and enforcement of the regulations by KSDE (currently, the investigation starts and ends with the local school Board; a clear conflict of interest); 2) ensuring definition of ESI regarding when Seclusion and Restraint can be used is equal to the standard advanced by the US Dept. of Education; 3) ensuring proper training of staff before these dangerous & deadly tactics are used on Kansas children.
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