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CT: "Educators across the state had to restrain/seclude students about 37,900 times" in one year

Nov 21, 2018, New Milford (CT) Spectrum: Danbury area school update restraint, seclusion practices A state law that gives more guidance and allows more flexibility for calming upset students with special needs when all else fails is changing the way local school districts apply seclusion and restraint practices. The new legislation redefines methods educators use to pacify at-risk students and students with disabilities who could otherwise hurt themselves or others, to make the measures seem less punitive. … Under the new law, seclusion is defined as confining a student to a room and preventing the student from leaving. But an exclusionary time-out is when a student is monitored temporarily in a separate space from peers to give the student a chance to calm down. … Other school districts are studying language in the new law to understand it better. In Newtown, for example, educators plan to update district rules about how to bring students safely to a secluded area. Deborah Mailloux-Petersen, the special education director, said some of the techniques staff had been using might now be considered physical restraint. … The state law comes at a time when lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are also calling for reform in the way school districts deal with students who are disruptive. … … “It’s barbaric for schools to confine students alone in locked rooms, or to use abusive methods to restrain little children,” Murphy said in a statement. … During the 2016-17 school year, educators across the state had to restrain or seclude students about 37,900 times, according to data collected by the state Department of Education. The number of exclusionary time-outs are not reported to the state.


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