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Thu Feb 13, 2014, 09:24 AM

Report Prompts Renewed Push To Limit Restraint, Seclusion

By Michelle Diament

to Senator Harkin, I so do not want him to retire.

February 13, 2014

Widespread use of restraint and seclusion in the nationís schools is putting kids with disabilities at risk and current laws offer families little recourse, a U.S. Senate investigation finds.

A 54-page report from the Senateís Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unveiled Wednesday documents 10 cases where students have experienced restraint or seclusion at school. Among them are the story of a 12-year-old Florida boy with developmental disabilities who was restrained 89 times in 14 months without his parentsí knowledge and the case of a 14-year-old in Georgia who committed suicide after being repeatedly secluded at school.

The findings were issued as Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, announced plans to introduce federal legislation to limit the use of restraint and seclusion in schools, practices which data suggest are most frequently used on students with disabilities.

Currently, Harkin said that there are laws to protect individuals in jails and hospitals but there are no nationwide standards for schools.


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