Here is a single excerpt from the COPAA letter:
A 9 year old boy with autism in Tennessee was restrained face-down in his school’s isolation room for four hours. The complaint alleges that for much of the time, one adult was across his torso and another across his legs, even though he weighed only 52 pounds. His mother was denied access to him, as she heard him scream and cry. His body was bruised and marked from the restraints. He was released to his mother only after she presented a due process hearing notice under the IDEA.
If the federal government has already created comprehensive regulations on this issue (see 42 CFR 483.350 et seq.), there’s no reason for there to be no guidance at the state level for teachers or staff who are unprepared by virtue of being untrained. It’s not fair to teachers, and it’s certainly unfair to children.
I’m looking to prepare a state-by-state summary of the relevant rules and regulations. If you have examples or references to your state or district policy, please send them to me so I can start populating the directory.
Do any of you have specific IEP goals or objectives, or other related sections, that deal with discipline, restraints, or seclusion? I’d very much like to hear from you; please post some details in the comments or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. (As always, personal details will remain absolutely confidential.)