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Commentary: Georgia must end seclusion, restraints

June 9th, 2010

Writing in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ruby Moore and Eric Jacobson call on Georgia to end seclusion and restraint in the state’s schools and turn instead to the use of positive behavioral supports (PBS).

Moore and Jacobson urge the state’s board of education to strengthen a proposed new rule by adding requirements for oversight, data collection and analysis, which they say are necessary to prevent the tragic deaths of more Georgia schoolchildren.

An excerpt:

Georgia can be at the forefront of states that are ending the practices of seclusion and restraints. We hope others will attend tomorrow’s board of education meeting to urge the adoption of a stronger rule that includes accountability.

Then we can create schools that are safe for children and teachers, provide effect oversight and support and, ultimately, protect our children. We should no longer send our children to school fearing that we may never see them return.

Congressional investigators last year found widespread evidence of the use of restraints and seclusion of students by school staff around the country, most of it involving students with disabilities. Some of the cases ended in death.

Ruby Moore is executive director of Georgia Advocacy Office. Eric Jacobson is executive director of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Earlier posts here.

One Response to “Commentary: Georgia must end seclusion, restraints”

  1. Terry Brown Says:

    Thank God. Way overdue! During my time in Special Education (as a therapist, fully committed to positive reinforcement), I had no power to stop school officials from secluding students in the ‘time-out’ room, essentially a plywood room built into a corner of a classroom. Most of them could have doubled in a Law & Order torture/deprivation episode. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t do more to protest. I would like to thank those who are stepping up. I’d also like to add my $0.02 to this campaign.

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More than 50 million people in the United States have disabilities, a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages. Experts say disability will soon affect the lives of most Americans. This website attempts to aggregate news and commentary about disability, and to document the efforts of people who are seeking new ways to address familiar challenges.

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