|Action||Promulgating new regulation governing seclusion & restraint in public elementary & secondary schools|
|Comment Period||Ends 4/19/2019|
There is no humane way to do something inhumane to a child.
The only humane regulations Virginia can pass in regards to seclusion and restraint is to ban seclusion entirely, Also, to ban dangerous forms of restraint like supine and prone restraints from which children have been seriously injured and killed.. My verbally impaired autistic son was secluded in a cell over 400 times in 3 years. He spent 100s of hours locked up and his behaviors only became worse. Not until he started at a school in which he’s no longer secluded did his behaviors improve dramatically. Had he spent those hundreds of hours in speech therapy rather than locked up alone and terrified in a room, then sent back in to clean up his own urine, his behaviors would have improved. Behaviors are communication when no other methods are available to a child. The school that locked him up repeatedly did all the proper paperwork and sent it all home.
Proper documentation doesn’t make the experience any less fearful or traumatic. Proponents of these methods say it’s about “safety.” How about the mental safety of children? This is a short term copout that creates a much longer term problem, and starts the school to prison pipeline for many children. Numerous human rights organizations have called for a total prohibition of aversive behavioral methods including CDC, ACLU, Amnesty International, World Health Organizatjon, and the UN. Anyone ignoring the human rights piece of this and making it all about data and paperwork is on the wrong side of history here. WE WILL BAN THESE MIDIEVAL PRACTICES, hence, the focus of the state really needs to be on funding special education so that our kids are receiving the FAPE rights to which they are entitled, and nobody should be permitted into a classroom with kids who have behavioral struggles but highly credentialed specialists. A child who lives in fear can’t possibly learn to his/her full potential. Anything short of an all-out ban of seclusion and a ban of prone and supine restraints, making other forms of restraint exceptionally rare, is unacceptable. Don’t talk to me about making the paperwork more efficient. Documenting child abuse doesn’t make it any less abusive.
This needs to end. Our schools need to be funded, innovative, and to employ methods that are not aversive and that WORK. That includes employing more than a single form of behavioral therapy. ABA is great for some kids, but also doesn’t work on many, so when that method isn’t successful, time to move on to another method. Just like there is a spectrum of nerds for all kinds of children, there must be a spectrum of options. And none of those options can include solitary confinement, forcing a child to wipe up his own urine, supine, or prone restraints. I don’t know how many our of our children have to be seriously injured or killed before our state decides that school brutality is no longer acceptable for any reason, EVER.
The next child who is seriously injured or dies? All who refused to follow the unilateral statements of numerous human rights organizations on prohibiting aversive treatment of children will be complicit in those injuries or deaths.