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Seclusion and Restraint in the School Setting

Children in classroom

Disability Rights Nebraska is committed to addressing issues that affect people with disabilities who are vulnerable, isolated, and / or at risk. Unfortunately, students with disabilities often find themselves in this role not of their own choosing. By collaborating with individuals and organizations who share our concern, we're working to create tangible results. All students should have the opportunity to live safely and receive an education in the way that fits them best.  

Disability Rights Nebraska has provided testimony to the Legislature's Education Committee in support of Legislative Resolution 314. The use of restraint and seclusion presents significant risks to the health and safety of students. Many students subjected to restraint or seclusion have been physically injured, traumatized, or died as a result. Students with disabilities are also disproportionately subject to the use of restraint or seclusion. The Resolution is concerned with four main points: 

  1. Existing regulatory and statutory mechanisms that allow or circumscribe the use of restraint or seclusion in Nebraska schools;
  2. Data collection techniques used by schools to report incidences of the use of restraint or seclusion, to whom incidences are reported, and how those reports are catalogued;
  3. The incidence of the use of restraint or seclusion in Nebraska schools and the extent and duration of the restraint or seclusion used on students, especially those with disabilities; and
  4. Nebraska school policies and procedures on the use of restraint or seclusion. 

Recently, the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) released a report based on the extensive work of the Protection and Advocacy network representing youth with disabilities in public schools. This work has raised concerns about how school resource officers (SROs) may be used in school settings to manage non-violent student behavior. The report suggests that guidance should come from the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice on the role of SRO's. NDRN sets out a number of recommendations, including clarifying "that SROs may not be used to enforce non-violent school code violations, manage student behavior..., and other non-violent law-enforcement tasks." The full report with recommendations is also listed in the resources below.

 

 

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