Commissioner’s Update – November 29, 2012

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Questions have been raised recently about the rules on the use of physical restraints by teachers and other school staff.  The new rules, which went into effect this fall, were developed by a broad stakeholder group that met over 10 months in an effort to re-calibrate the balance between protecting children and others from the risks of restraint (there have been some tragic reports of injury and death across the country) and protecting teachers and other students, and avoiding disruption and property damage.

Please be sure to review the rules and provide training to your staff, as required in the adopted rule changes. Many of the concerns we’ve heard about specific incidents seem to reflect misperceptions about the rules. The rules do not prohibit the use of restraints entirely – when teachers or students are at risk of injury or harm, restraint is allowed. You can learn more about the rules, access the training, and read a Q&A on our Restraints and Seclusion web page.

— Stephen Bowen



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