Education
8:35 am
Mon December 10, 2012

School Seclusion Policy Delayed

The Ohio state Board of Education has postponed its decision on regulating seclusion rooms and restraint in schools. Seclusion rooms are supposed to be safe places for children who are acting violently. But an investigation this year by The Columbus Dispatch and StateImpact Ohio found the rooms are often misused.

Ohio does not currently regulate the use of seclusion rooms in schools.

But more than 100 parents, educators and other commenters weighed in on the Ohio state Board of Education’s plan to start doing so.

The state board of education had planned to vote on the issue this week. The board has now pushed back that vote to its January meeting to give members more time to consider public comments.

Seclusion rooms are supposed to be a tool of last-resort to contain children who are dangers to themselves or others. They often are used on children with disabilities.

But StateImpact Ohio and the Columbus Dispatch found the rooms are sometimes used as a convenience for staff or as punishment for children.

Some school leaders oppose regulating seclusion and restraint. They say it would create “unfunded mandates.”