|Action||Promulgating new regulation governing seclusion & restraint in public elementary & secondary schools|
|Comment Period||Ends 4/19/2019|
First and foremost I would to thank the Education Committee for your service.
I have taken many trainings all over Virginia to include VDOE trainings and PEATC’s Parents as Collaborative Leaders. In every training, either in the same row or same table, I have come across parents whose child has been harmed by restraint and seclusion in the state of Virginia.
These parents have told me that their children have been traumatized. Some children are no longer sleeping alone, some have PTSD, some cannot go into a bathroom stall, the majority regressed and were no longer able to potty train for months and even years. Children as young as 6 for doing something as trivial as tearing paper or kicking a chair.
Restraint and seclusion need to be banned. They are being used as punishment instead of being used for life threatening events.
In Loudoun County where we had the one of the most documented cases of life threatening seclusion, we are still incurring problems. This is after a policy was adopted by the LCPS school board. Parents are still reporting that children are being secluded but it is not reported because a door is cracked.
Where we are in Virginia regarding restraint and seclusion is the majority of school districts have not adopted a policy. If they have you will find it in on Boards Docs in section J which is copied and pasted. The policy will state that schools have 15 days to report an incidence of restraint and seclusion. I would also like to add that a child can incur all the same injuries that an athlete on a football field or a lacrosse player or worse to include death. The difference is they do not have protective gear. As a parent would you be ok if your child sustained a concussion or a brain bleed and you were not notified in a timely fashion? Notification in the same day is not a burden.
Training all staff is not a burden. I’m not sure why unions and associations would fight so hard against this important subject. Part of the reason why there is a law now is because schools are not willing to invest in their staff. Parents are just as concerned for our teachers well being and mental health as we are our children’s. Investing in de-escalating a child before they reach the crisis level is not only morally responsible but fiscally responsible. You would save funds on private placement and legal fees to overpriced law firms.
Families have been waiting for a long time for these regulations to be adopted. Why we are being proposed these regulations versus the ones that have taken years to develop was not what was the intention when HB 2599 was proposed.