Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
[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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4/18/19  10:32 pm
Commenter: Melanie Worrall

Restraint causes trauma

Restraint seclusion and isolation cause TRAUMA. It does NOTHING to improve behavior in fact it makes it worse because it invokes fight/flight response. In addition it is NOT used as a last resort and it goes undocumented. Once a child is restrained it becomes the “go to” response.
My daughter entered public school with a language disorder learning disability. In third grade she was repeatedly restrained and confined to a four walled cubicle for an entire year because the autism teacher said  “don’t worry all our autism students go through this it will take about two weeks but she will get it”  .....
She never “got it” but she was traumatized. We changed schools with a different approach and she was fully integrated back into gen ed for two years with glowing reports. No restraints. No suspensions. No calls home pick her up. We transitioned to middle school and within the first week of school the approach was back to isolation and removal and 
And now adding on interrogations for threat assessments which were inappropriate for a child with a LANGUAGE DISORDER. we had a total regression for 6th and 7th. We tried to advocate on her behalf, we offered a BCBA and behavior plan that we had success with yet it was refused and we were retaliated against with false reports to CPS. 
The timeline was clear. When my daughters disability was mistreated with restraint and seclusion the behavior regressed. When her disability was recognized and a different approach was used she thrived. 
She entered with a disability but through the mistreatment of her disability with restraint and seclusion her behavior evolved and escalated into TRAUMA. The behaviors of concern were not symptoms of her disability. The behaviors evolved and escalated to symptoms of TRAUMA. When the restraint and seclusion were removed and the disability addressed appropriately the behaviors DRAMATICALLY  resolved.
Despite many restraints, seclusion and isolations over a five year period there is no documentation of any restraints in her file and no mention of her true experience of trauma or restraint, isolation or threat assessments in the IEP. 
Despite what is the law the school is in full control of what is documented and how it is documented.
After the retaliation for advocating we were forced to removed her for homeschooling. She is once again recovering but the scars of trauma remain. 
Restraint, seclusion and isolation cause TRAUMA.
End it. It has no place in our schools.

CommentID: 71687