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Staunton, VA: Local district report zero use of restraint/seclusion; police called instead

Oct 14, 2018, Staunton (VA) News Leader: When non-restraint methods failed, schools called police 150 times in the last 5 years All three local school districts reported zero-use of restraint or seclusion in dealing with students in crisis over the last five years, as previously reported in The News Leader. The number does not tell the whole story, however. There's a hidden partner in the school districts' collective success. When a crisis cannot be de-escalated and a child is a danger to themselves or others, the schools call the police. And the police come. Local law enforcement answered 157 calls for children in crisis in public schools in the last five years, according to data the News Leader compiled from Staunton and Waynesboro police departments and the Augusta County Sheriffs Office…. Police issued an Emergency Custody Order in 35 of those incidents, in which a person who is considered to be a danger to themselves or others may be restrained by law enforcement and transported to Augusta Health for a mental health evaluation. In a dozen other incidents, all in Waynesboro, students agreed voluntarily to be escorted to Augusta Health for mental health help and no ECO was issued. Overall, roughly 3 out of 10 calls resulted in a child being removed from their situation at the school, whether by force or voluntarily. … The school districts of Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County all use a crisis de-escalation system with goals similar to what police learn in Crisis Intervention Training. The Mandt System emphasizes establishing meaningful relationships with students which come in handy when they need to de-escalate crisis situations. The multi-day training for the Mandt System does include instruction in physical restraint — using the hands and body to hold a person in place temporarily to give a person a chance to calm down without resorting to any mechanical restraint or seclusion. …


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