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Montcalm Co, MI: District uses restraint 4,000 times over 5 yrs

July 21, 2023, MLive: U.S. attorney looks at use of restraint, seclusion at Michigan school district

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Federal prosecutors are investigating Montcalm Area Intermediate School District’s use of restraint and seclusion of students.

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten’s office is working with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division regarding restraining or secluding students, spokesperson Tiffany Brown told MLive.

The action follows an investigation last year by the Detroit Free Press, which reported that schools in Montcalm Area ISD put children with disabilities in isolation at least 4,000 times in the previous five years. …

Montcalm Area ISD Superintendent Kyle Hamlin did not immediately respond to messages on Friday but acknowledged to the Daily News the the district was under review by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights….

The practice is intended as a last resort to protect a student and classmates but some parents say putting a child with a disability into seclusion can be traumatic. Two years ago, a parent said her son, who has autism, was put in a “cell” over 30 times as a kindergartner at Saline Area Schools.

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