Our Anne Dachel is like Dickens' Madame Defarge, knitting a long long list of egregious actions within the ever exploding realm of special education. She has hundreds 0f stories of how school districts are being crushed by the epidemic of kids on IEPs and with serious emotional and mental challenges. The result is often horrendous care for our children. Below is a sample of her compilation, about the hideous practices of restraint and seclusion. Just last week on Facebook a friend discovered that her son's new school has a "calm" room. That's a euphemism for a seclusion room.
Sept 14, 2017, Newsweek: WHY ARE SCHOOLS LOCKING UP SO MANY OF OUR KIDS?
If parents were to lock their children in a confined space for a lengthy period of time, it is highly likely that those parents would be arrested for child abuse and their parental rights threatened. (In fact, this just happened in Arizona recently.)
If public schools do this, however, the outcome is quite different.
The use of physical restraints, locked “seclusion rooms,” and solitary confinement for children is rampant throughout the nation’s public schools.
In a comprehensive 2014 analysis by NPR and ProPublica, analysts found that “restraint and seclusion were used at least 267,000 times nationwide” in the 2011-2012 school year. Schools put children in seclusion rooms approximately 104,000 times in that one year.
ProPublica reports that the restraint and seclusion practices included “pinning uncooperative children facedown on the floor, locking them in dark closets and tying them up with straps, handcuffs, bungee cords or even duct tape.”
Many school officials contend that using restraints and locked seclusion for children are sometimes necessary when children are out of control in the school building and need to calm down. But a 2014 U.S. Senate report on these practices argues that these extreme tactics are unnecessary and damaging to children.
The report asserts:
There is no evidence that physically restraining or putting children in unsupervised seclusion in the K-12 school system provides any educational or therapeutic benefit to a child. In fact, use of either seclusion or restraints in non-emergency situations poses significant physical and psychological danger to students.
Particularly troubling is that the NPR/Pro Publica analysis of school seclusion and restraint practices found that the vast majority of the cases (75 percent) involved children with disabilities.
In a separate analysis earlier this year, the Education Week Research Center found that 70,000 special education students were restrained or secluded in the 2013-2014 school year.
The Serious Consequences of Restraining Children
Beyond the obvious emotional trauma to a child of being physically restrained or locked in a secluded room, these restraint and seclusion practices sometimes result in serious injury.
A 2012 ABC News investigation found that “thousands of autistic and disabled schoolchildren have been injured and dozens have died” from the use of seclusion and restraint protocols in the nation’s public schools. ….
Actions that are considered criminal when parents do them are somehow tolerated in the nation’s public schools. Locking children in dark closets or physically restraining them with ropes and ties can cause serious emotional trauma and bodily harm. Parents shouldn’t do it, and neither should the state.