The Ohio ACLU comments on ODE’s draft policy and rules for restraint and seclusion

October 25, 2012 / restraint and seclusion

The Ohio American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a statement today commenting on the Ohio Board of Education’s recently drafted policy and rules that would govern the use of restraint and seclusion in Ohio’s schools.

The Ohio ACLU says the rules fall short because they allow schools to continue using seclusion rooms and they don’t apply to charter schools. The Ohio ACLU wants the state to phase out the use of seclusion rooms in schools by no later than three years.

After reviewing the Ohio ACLU’s comments, Sue Tobin, Chief Legal Counsel with Disability Rights Ohio, stated “We applaud the ACLU for pointing out to the Ohio Department of Education that the use of restraint and seclusion is a human rights issue. The ACLU agrees with Disability Rights Ohio that seclusion should be banned. However, Disability Rights Ohio maintains that locked seclusion should be banned immediately. There have been continuing reports of physical and emotional abuse resulting from seclusion. This cannot be tolerated. Furthermore, it is feasible to end seclusion practices immediately.”

After a recent investigation, Disability Rights Ohio was successful in reaching an agreement with an educational agency to remove the door of its seclusion room. Tobin added, “Schools can assure a safe environment by having the ability to remove students to time out, calming or sensory rooms but schools should not be permitted to lock students away in solitary confinement."

Columbus Dispatch article: ACLU of Ohio says proposed seclusion-room rules fall short

Columbus Dispatch article: ACLU wants seclusion-room tactics halted at schools

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