Ohio Board Of Education Takes First Step Toward Statewide Restraint, Seclusion Room Policy


School officials discussed plans for what would be the first statewide policy regarding restraint and seclusion rooms in school.

The Ohio Department of Education said the unregulated use of restraints and seclusion rooms have been a concern for years.

Recent complaints by Columbus students have put a task force back in action.

The plan would define when restraint would be used and would also create a policy for reporting and whistle blowing. The plan would also address universal training.

Two Beatty Park Elementary School aides were suspended after a special needs student said that one of them beat him inside of a seclusion room.

According to the report obtained by 10TV, aide Leslie Polk blocked the door, and the window to the door, in the room while aide Fred Harrison grabbed the boy's arm and slammed his head against the wall.

It goes on to say Harrison pushed the boys head down and kneed him in the chest.

The report made by the principal said when the 11-year-old started to cry, Harrison told the boy, "That's not all I can do. I can keep adding people."

That is the type of seclusion-room behavior, the state said it wants its policy to correct.

The proposed rule would be a statewide policy for all school districts. No harsh treatment would be allowed. Restraint or isolation cannot be used for discipline but only in cases of immediate threat or physical harm. Everything must be documented and reported.

“We have incorporated in the policy and language what the process would be if an incident occurred and you have to report at the district level. Now we are looking at how we take that information and extract it so it can be reported at the state level,” said Sasheen Phillips, Department of Education.

The state Board of Education is still fine tuning the policy, including who else the district may have to report to and a way for people to file a complaint.

The goal is to approve a policy next month.

Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for more information.

Previous Stories:
August 5, 2012: Report: seclusion misused for Ohio disabled kids
June 28, 2012: 2 Columbus School Aides To Be Fired For Allegedly Placing Students In ‘Seclusion’ Room
April 26, 2012: 2 Columbus Schools Aides Suspended In Connection With Alleged Student Beating