Wednesday, February 17, 2010

NC News: Disability Rights North Carolina Seclusion and Restraint Report

Seclusion and Restraint: A Dangerous Education

Call for a Voluntary Ban

Raleigh, NC – Disability Rights North Carolina released an investigative report today on the dangerous use of seclusion and restraint in North Carolina public schools.

The report, titled “Seclusion and Restraint: A Dangerous Education”, highlights specific examples of inappropriate practices in several counties in North Carolina, including the use of physical and mechanical restraint with chairs and straps and wrongful seclusion and time-outs. Specifically, the report discourages the use of prone restraint, where students are pinned face-down, restricting their ability to breathe.

The report includes specific examples of North Carolina students in Wayne, Cumberland, Durham and Wake counties who have been exposed to these practices and were injured as a result.

“We hope that this report will provide the incentive to eliminate the very dangerous practice of putting students in face-down restraint,” said DRNC Executive Director, Vicki Smith. “It’s time to take action before a North Carolina student dies.”

Disability Rights NC is releasing the report to the North Carolina State Superintendent, the State Board of Education and various Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with the goal that the state will voluntarily ban prone restraint in North Carolina schools and implement Positive Behavior Supports instead. In addition to Disability Rights NC, twelve other organizations have signed-on to a letter calling for the voluntary ban.

Disability Rights NC is also releasing the report to North Carolina’s Congressional Delegation encouraging them to support the passage of the “Preventing Harmful Restraint and Seclusion in the Schools Act”. The act will federally ban the use of prone restraint and will require the use of de-escalation techniques and/or the implementation of a student’s Behavior Intervention Plan as alternatives to restraint or seclusion.

For more information, read report.
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Disability Rights North Carolina is the state’s federally mandated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities. One of the P&A’s primary federal mandates is to protect and advocate against the abuse and neglect of people with disabilities.

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