Petoskey, MI: Teachers need training in restraint and seclusion

Sept 26, 2017, Petoskey (MI) News: Schools put state's seclusion/restraint policy into effect Schools across Michigan put a new state education policy in place before this academic year that defines the use of seclusion and restraint. According to policy 5630.01, the policy is intended to promote the care, safety, welfare and security of the school community and the dignity of each student; encourage the use of proactive, effective, evidence- and research-based strategies and best practices to reduce the occurrence of challenging behaviors, eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint and increase meaningful instructional time for all students; and ensure that seclusion and restraint are used only as a last resort in an emergency situation and are subject to diligent assessment, monitoring, documentation and reporting by trained personnel. “It’s a state law that says that you really should not restrain kids nor seclude them, especially if they have special needs, unless you have special training,” said Mark Tompkins, superintendent of Harbor Springs schools. “The training is offered by the (intermediate school district) and so we are identifying key people in each building to attend the training. If a teacher has an issue with a child who is physically out of control or if there is some sort of physical dispute, we know how to handle it more appropriately. It’s good for us and it’s good for the kids.” Tompkins said there has been video training for all staff members and key individuals — usually the principal, special education teacher and counselor — in each building will have additional training.