Fairfax school district launches review of seclusion and restraint policies

Mar 21, 2019 by

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Fairfax County Public Schools is investigating the system’s seclusion and restraint procedures, following a report that use of the controversial practices is underreported.

Students at some schools in Fairfax, home of Virginia’s largest school system, are routinely secluded, or involuntarily confined, according to a report on WAMU-FM. The station identified hundreds of cases that school system officials failed to report to the federal government.

“We know that parents trust schools to provide an environment in which students can learn and grow led by kind and caring professionals,” Superintendent Scott Brabrand said in a statement. “We want to ensure that all school-based personnel trained in the use of seclusion [and] restraint understand the appropriate use of the procedures.”

The practices are prohibited in Fairfax unless “there is a dangerous situation,” with seclusion or restraint necessary to protect the student or others, Brabrand said. The school system’s investigation will include parental notification, how data is collected and reported, and staff training.

Seclusion and restraint, measures that prevent students from moving freely, have drawn scrutiny for decades and disproportionately affect students with disabilities.

The practices have resulted in injury and, in the most severe cases, death, according to a 2009 federal study that examined the measures dating to 1990.

Source: Fairfax school district launches review of seclusion and restraint policies – The Washington Post


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