After ODE finds no violation of student rights in Columbus City Schools, Disability Rights Ohio issues letter requesting staff development

February 8, 2013 / restraint and seclusion

After Columbus City Schools refused to remove the doors of seclusion rooms in response to Disability Rights Ohio's investigative report, Disability Rights Ohio and a parent of an 18-year-old student who has autism filed a formal written complaint with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). The complaint alleged individual and system-wide violations of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

On January 11, 2013, ODE issued its Findings Letter. Despite approximately 1,800 incidents of seclusion and restraint reported by the district, ODE found no student’s rights were violated. Dissatisfied with ODE’s conclusions, Disability Rights Ohio sent a letter to ODE on Wednesday, February 6, requesting that ODE reconsider its findings and require staff development for both the ODE and district staff. The letter included a number of resources to assist in this effort. PDFs of the findings report from the ODE, the letter from Disability Rights Ohio and the additional resources included with the letter are below.

Disability Rights Ohio urges action due to the volume of occurrences across the district, which suggests an acute problem that is likely disrupting the education of many students, not just those experiencing restraint and seclusion. The volume of incidents also indicates a system-wide failure to meet the behavioral needs of students in these schools. The letter requests a response within seven days.

Ohio Department of Education Findings Letter to the Columbus City Schools [PDF]

Response Letter to Ohio Department of Education from Disability Rights Ohio [PDF]

Additional resources included with the letter:

Developing School Policies and Procedures for Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Nebraska Schools [PDF]

Developing and Supporting Teachers' Ability to Prevent and Reduce Restraint and Seclusion [PDF]

Make a Donation

Please give. To the best of your ability.