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Bill Would Limit Use Of Restraints And Seclusion In Schools

Rogelio V. Solis

Connecticut’s Child Advocate says she supports a bill that would stop schools from putting children into restraints or seclusion except in emergency situations.

Sarah Eagan testified before lawmakers this week about the bill. She said students most likely to be restrained or secluded are elementary school kids with developmental disabilities. She says the practice isn’t safe.

“Restraint and seclusion are harmful for children. They are not therapeutic interventions. Restraint and seclusion by extensive research are shown to increase, rather than decrease, the likelihood of staff injury.”

Eagan said putting a child in time-out behind a closed door with nobody else in the room should be considered seclusion.

A 2015 investigation from Eagan’s office found that children at the state’s locked juvenile detention facilities in Middletown were being put in restraints and locked in seclusion as punishment – for up to several days. That practice is illegal under state law.