Ohio Adopts New Restraint, Seclusion Room Policies For Schools


UPDATED: Tuesday April 9, 2013 5:27 PM

Ohio was a state that had no restrictions on seclusion rooms or restraints in schools.

In December, the state created a policy, or guidelines, for districts to follow.

Tuesday afternoon, the state voted to adopt the policy as a rule which allows the state to step in and enforce the policy.

"We know it's not perfect, but it's a wonderful start,” said Deb Terhar, president of the state board of education.

The statewide policy for all school districts calls for no harsh treatment when restraining students.

Restraints or isolation cannot be used for discipline -  only in cases of immediate threat or physical harm.

Everything must be documented and reported.

Tuesday’s vote makes this a rule in the state of Ohio.

"The rules make it possible now for the department of education to enforce them,” said John Charlton with the Ohio Department of Education. “With a policy you can't enforce that much but you can enforce the rules."

School districts are expected to train their staff and begin to adhere to the new rules when school starts in the fall.

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