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Fargo, ND: Use of restraint/seclusion "throughout Fargo school district"; 9 yr old pinned by police

July 24, 2018, Fargo, ND, Valley News Live: Video shows 9-year-old forcibly restrained at Agassiz ... "When I first saw that video, I cried," says Victoria Johnson. "They violated my son's rights. They know that. And I know that." Johnson was initially excited when her 9-year-old son with special needs was chosen to attend Fargo Schools' setting-d pilot program at Agassiz. She says she was promised special programs and supports - but that's not what she got.... Johnson's son's anxiety skyrocketed after he was forced into a room at school and pinned to the ground by a Fargo Police Officer and the school’s principal. … Advocates say the hold is dangerous, illegal, and proof that Fargo Schools isn't following its own policies. The district's policy states physical restraint should only be used to protect people from imminent danger and that children should never be held while lying on the ground…. Advocates say this problem is bigger than Agassiz. "Children aren't just being restrained in level d. Children are being restrained throughout the Fargo school district. So this isn't a problem that was exclusive to the level d at Agassiz. This is a problem in the school district," Ruehl says. “There is a culture in the district of restraining children and that makes me really sad.” “Seclusion and restraint has an impact on everyone. I’ve talked to police officers, teachers, para-professionals, other school staff – who all talk about having to be involved or having to witness a child being restrained impacts them in a very significant and negative way,” adds Stanton. “I've also done intakes on children who have witnessed their classmates being restrained and hauled out of a classroom or have seen their classmates handcuffed, taken out of a school, sometimes not to return. And for any child – that can be really terrifying." …

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