Lt. Gov. Calley: End restraint, seclusion in schools

Dec 6, 2016 by

Brian Calley –

School should be a safe and positive environment for kids, focused on helping all students learn and grow. But there are many cases where the use of restraints and seclusion in non-emergency situations is robbing students, especially those with disabilities, of their safety, dignity and opportunity to learn.

Ensuring that our special education system unlocks the amazing potential of our most vulnerable students is a top priority of mine. I have gathered feedback from parents and educators from all across our state, both in person and online. While I heard of many success stories, I was saddened and shocked to learn that these inhumane and barbaric non-emergency restraint and seclusion practices are still taking place in a number of our schools. I heard this from literally hundreds of parents.

Last year, I chaired the Special Education Reform Task Force, which issued recommendations that will improve learning opportunities for special education students, helping to better prepare them to live self-determined, independent lives. Ending the use of non-emergency restraint and seclusion practices in Michigan schools was one of the most critical recommendations of the task force.

We see some schools that are being proactive and are already seeing amazing results. One Michigan school district I know of transitioned away from the old practices of the past, and embraced Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. In just a few years, they have seen a 40 percent reduction in suspensions, which accounts for over 3,000 additional instruction days for students.

Source: Lt. Gov. Calley: End restraint, seclusion in schools

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