Restraint and Seclusion in Public Schools: Ethical Issues, Risks, and How to Protect Students from Harm
The use of restraint and seclusion in public education settings in the United States dates to at least the 1960s. However, its use likely dates back at least 200 years. As advocacy and policy changes in the 1970s rightfully inspired the deinstitutionalization and integration of students who historically attended state-run psychiatric hospitals into public education, tactics historically used in those psychiatric settings unfortunately followed them into the schools. Despite the longstanding and documented history and harms of restraint and seclusion, 27 US States and Territories have no statutes or regulations on restraint and seclusion in public schools. Though restraint and seclusion continue to be challenged in the legal system (with violations filed under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504, and the Americans with Disabilities Act), federal regulation has yet to be enacted, and America’s children continue to suffer injury and death as a result. The purpose of this presentation is to explore the ethical issues surrounding restraint and seclusion as well as the risks and harms of its use. Finally, we present a framework for policy makers and educators (broadly defined) to follow to reduce the use of these brutal tactics and most importantly, protect America’s children from adult-inflicted harm.
3 Learning Objectives
- Participants will identify ethical issues pertaining to the use of restraint and seclusion.
- Participants will identify the potential risks and benefits of using restraint and seclusion.
- Participants will describe reinforcement-based strategies to support behavior change in absence of restraint and seclusion.
- Presenter: Matthew Brodhead, Ph.D., BCBA-D
- Date: Tuesday, March 5th 2024
- Time: 9:00 AM Pacific
- Duration: 100min
- 2 Learning - Ethics BACB CE Hours
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