Monday, October 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM
The Ohio Department of Education received more than 100 comments, letters and suggestions on how to improve a draft policy on seclusion and restraint in schools.
Those suggestions ranged from recommending that Ohio prohibit the use of seclusion rooms entirely to requesting that Ohio not regulate the use of seclusion and restraint in schools at all.
Ohio does not regulate the use of seclusion and restraint in schools now, but the Ohio Department of Education is working to develop a policy, and plans to include some of the suggestions submitted by Ohioans.
Many school administrators wrote in to complain that the draft seclusion and restraint policy is an unfunded mandate because it would cost them extra funds to train employees or perform functional behavior assessments on students who misbehave.
Other anonymous commenters wrote in to say the Ohio Department of Education should leave seclusion and restraint up to local control, letting schools decide how they should be used.
A group of superintendents from the Stark County area co-authored a letter that concludes Ohio doesn't need a seclusion and restraint policy because those issues are already covered by the state's law on corporal punishment.
Other commenters suggested that the policy shouldn't just apply to public schools, but also to charter schools and private schools that accept vouchers.
Mary Kirk, the mother of an autistic child, wrote in to say her child needs seclusion and restraint.
Myra Tanksley, the parent of a child who has been secluded, wrote to say she would like to see more requirements for training staff.
Several advocacy groups, including Disability Rights Ohio, wrote that say seclusion rooms should not be allowed in Ohio schools at all.