Washington, DC: More than 800 cases of restraint/seclusion in schools; reports limited

June 3, 2019, WAMU FM How Often Are D.C. Schools Isolating And Restraining Students? It’s Hard To Tell
Physically isolating or restraining a student is one of the most significant actions a school official can take to control that student’s behavior. But unlike their counterparts in Maryland and Virginia, officials in D.C. schools have no official local policy on when to use these controversial practices, or how to report when they have used them in public schools. … Districts are required to report these cases to the federal government. And some school districts further require that schools report the incidents to the state and to parents. D.C., however, only follows the federal rule for public schools. There are no regulations in place saying that schools should tell parents or the city when students are secluded or restrained. There are policies governing private schools. Special education advocates say that without these regulations, families have limited recourse if they feel their students have been unfairly restrained or secluded. In public schools in D.C., there were 804 incidents of seclusion and restraint reported to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights in the 2015-16 school year.