Friday, October 26, 2012

Restraint and Seclusion in Kentucky

Over the past 18 months, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) and the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) have been working with a number of stakeholders to address parent and community concerns about the use of restraints and seclusions in Kentucky schools.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has brought this issue to the forefront through publications and recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education. The KBE recently approved a Statement of Consideration that was the final step in the process of approving a regulation on restraint and seclusion for submission to the General Assembly.

I am dedicating my blog space this week to a recent press release from one of our key partners, Kentucky Protection and Advocacy. I encourage all readers to review the press release below and the new booklet, Restraint & Seclusion – The Reality in Kentucky Schools. The booklet is available here.

Our efforts at KDE and KBE are to make schools safer for students and staff. Only through clear guidelines and training can we address the growing concerns about improper use of restraints and seclusion. We have listened to all stakeholders and modified the regulation where possible to meet concerns of stakeholders. It is now time for Kentucky educators to come together and move forward with improving the safety of our schools for students and staff.

 Press Release

Contact: Marsha Hockensmith                                  
or Lucy Heskins
Phone: 502.564.2967                                     
Kentucky Protection & Advocacy

10:00 AM EDT, October 25, 2012 


FRANKFORT KY, OCTOBER 25, 2012: Kentucky

Kentucky does not have any law regulating the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools. Kentucky teachers can restrain children for any (or no) reason using restraint techniques that have been proven to be dangerous and even deadly. Kentucky teachers can also seclude children by locking them in a closet or small room with no lighting or ventilation, without access to food or a bathroom, for hours or even all day. Like restraint, seclusion techniques have injured, traumatized, and even killed children. Significantly, schools are not required to tell parents when their child is restrained or secluded.

Kentucky Protection & Advocacy, a client-directed legal rights agency that protects and promotes the rights of individuals with disabilities, and the Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities, an agency that promotes systemic changes through advocacy and capacity building, release “Restraint & Seclusion – The Reality in Kentucky Schools.” This booklet details stories of Kentucky children and youth who have been hurt by restraint or seclusion in public schools. The booklet also details alternatives to the use of restraint and seclusion being used in one school district in Kentucky, and information about rules for restraint and seclusion currently proposed by the Kentucky Department of Education.

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