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Fairfax County, VA: VIDEO shows reality of 'seclusion' with SPED students; it's modern education

Mar 21, 2019, American U. Radio, Wash. DC, WAMU 88.5: VIDEO: This Is What ‘Seclusion’ Looks Like At One Fairfax County School An exclusive video obtained by WAMU shows a student being forced into seclusion at a Fairfax County public school, then struggling to be let out. The footage offers a glimpse into how such interactions — especially with special needs students — can play out. The district is already under scrutiny for not fully reporting such incidents. In the video, an unidentified student’s arm hangs out of a doorway while two adults appear to be talking to one another and to the student. After one adult walks away, another appears to push the student inside the room before slamming the door shut. The student bangs against the door and screams continuously as the adult struggles to close it. The room is labeled as a “reflection room.” Also called a seclusion room, such facilities are used to isolate students as a means to manage behavior. Rooms like this are built into multiple Fairfax County special needs schools. … “The incident in this video was a response to a student who was being physically dangerous to himself and others in the classroom setting,” school officials said in a statement after being sent the video by WAMU. “School administrators and our special education team have reviewed the video and concluded that the trained staff member handled the situation appropriately, according to FCPS guidelines. Not shown in your video is that the student deescalated after about 10 minutes and returned to the classroom for the remainder of the day.” The district says the student’s parents were notified about the incident. … The event occurred this week at a Fairfax County public school that’s focused on serving students with special needs…. The video surfaces a week after a WAMU investigation revealed hundreds of instances of seclusion and restraint in Fairfax County that were not properly reported. Documents obtained by WAMU showed that children in Fairfax County Public Schools, some as young as 6 years old, were restrained or put in seclusion multiple times. In some cases, a single child was confined to a room almost 100 times in a school year. Fairfax parents told WAMU that the routine isolation of children caused trauma and hurt students’ academically. The U.S. Department of Education requires schools to report each instance of seclusion and restraint. In 2009, 2013 and 2015, the Fairfax school district reported zero cases of such incidents, which involves physically restraining students or isolating them in spaces they can’t escape from. …


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