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State Launches Coalition To Reduce Restraints And Seclusion In Schools

by Lisa Chedekel | Jan 24, 2014 12:00pm
(3) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Education, Town News, Health Care, Legal, Local Politics, State Capitol

Lisa Chedekel photo If Connecticut officials are going to continue to allow schools to use seclusion as a behavioral intervention, can’t they at least make sure that seclusion rooms have chairs?

That was the understated, soft-spoken plea from a 19-year-old student named Laquandria, who told a gathering of state agency leaders, educators, and parents Thursday that she had been secluded and restrained multiple times while attending public schools and special education programs in Connecticut.

“The walls weren’t padded, there was nowhere to sit — I felt like an animal,” said Laquandria, whose last name was withheld because of her family’s involvement with the Department of Children and Families. She is now finishing her high school education at a Hamden residential program. “I feel like, you know,” she told the assembled state officials, “we should at least have somewhere to sit.”

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(3) Comments

posted by: mwhealy | January 24, 2014  10:49pm

These are REAL PROBLEMS: 37,000 instances of use of restraints last year in Ct; with 850 injuries associated with this. I was there as a mother of a now adult mentally ill daughter who had been restrained and secluded in school. I was there as a member of NAMI. What I saw was a room full of people who basically all agreed on the problem—over use of restraint and seclusion in schools. There were two keynote speakers, one who spoke on the negative educational impact of “punishment”; one who spoke on the nuts and bolts, the dollars and cents return on using other methods. Senator Murphy spoke about working on a bill now that had been started 15 years ago and cannot make it through congress to keep our children safe. We had a parent of a child with MS who is torn between signing to allow the school to use restraints or if he will not allow that and his 12 year old son has a problem the police will be called. THESE ARE REAL PROBLEMS and need more attention. The people who were there to participate or to listen know this. More people have to.

posted by: Joebigjoe | January 25, 2014  9:23am

OK I know this will make some people mad.

I dont understand the reason for no chairs. How about a bean bag chair if they feel that someone will use the chair to hurt themselves or destroy property.

Now the main issue. If a child with special needs is going to be mainstreamed then maybe they need a special bond to do so.

Every child is different but if someone is being restrained it usually means that they have hurt, or tried to hurt or threatened to hurt other students or staff.

I’m sorry but if someone is going to be mainstreamed and hurts someone else there needs to be serious financial penalties that are easily paid to the victim and not something that requires 8 years and legal fees many people dont have to dish out.

The rights of people with issues do not trump the rights of people without issues to be injured or threatened.

Maybe I’m naive but I dont get the feeling that schools are so quickly restraining kids who are talking back, not listening in class, not doing their homework. If they are then the people in the school need to be fired, but I have a feeling its more violence, threats of violence, and outbursts that are frightening or just plain disruptive of the rights of other kids to get an education.

posted by: justice | January 25, 2014  10:36am

A chair is something that can be taken apart and used as a weapon. How about early intervention. Lets not wait until children are teens before we help them. P.S. teachers should be teaching not used as security guards.