Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Education
Board
State Board of Education
chapter
[under development] Regulations Governing the Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools in Virginia [8 VAC 20 ‑ 750]
Action Promulgating new regulation governing seclusion & restraint in public elementary & secondary schools
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 4/19/2019
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4/19/19  8:39 am
Commenter: Erika Sandy

Seclusion Rooms and Restraints
 
My 12 year old ADHD/ODD/Autistic daughter goes to New Horizons Regional Education Center for Autism on Woodside Lane in Newport News. She has been put in "holds" and full body restraints as well as the seclusion room more times than I can count. I even had an administrator tell me yesterday, my kid was acting out and that was why they wanted her in the seclusion room but that she wasn't combative, she just was refusing to go. So that administrator and another Male admin (who is VERY large by the way) grabbed my daughter by her ankles and torso to drag her into the seclusion room. If she wasn't a harm risk to her or others, there should have been none of that. The administrator even told me "all it was about was her listening. If she would have done what I told her to and went to the seclusion room, I'd have let her back out." So it is a power play on special needs kids. And these rooms are literally 4 walls of cinder blocks where they are locked behind a very heavy door that locks from the outside, exactly like a prison cell. This doesn't de-escalate my kid in particular because it just makes her have a panic attack and then she sits there hitting or headbutting the walls and door wanting to be let out. But they don't let her out unless she can somehow get completely calm or 15 mins pass whichever come first. They just sit in a chair outside the door staring at her thru a little window as if she IS a prisoner. She has even had staff tell her they weren't putting her in the seclusion room, they were only going for a "cool down walk" and then the second they walk past the seclusion room, they have shoved her in there resulting in bruises. I'm told this is all legal. She needs a special needs school because otherwise she would be definitely kicked out of a regular school because of behavior issues due to her diagnoses. But where can I draw the line?? You sign a paper at the beginning of the year agreeing to the use of holds, restraints, and the seclusion room specifically for students that are harming themselves or others, yet my daughter gets sent there simply for not "complying" or for having an emotional but NOT PHYSICAL melt down because she doesn't understand a MATH PROBLEM... that happened this week too! And why are Male staff allowed to hold down, restrain, or drag my female student anywhere?! I feel like a horrible parent because there isn't anything I can do about it. I have a meeting with the school principal and some staff on Monday at 215 about this... and I don't even know how to address the entire issue...