As lawmakers review policies regarding the seclusion and restraint of students, Monroe County Community School Corporation leaders have adopted their own new policy.
For the past two years, MCCSC administrators have wrestled with whether to amend the district’s policy prohibiting any use of force against a student. Special Education Director Kathleen Hugo says the new policy includes four crisis prevention trainers who cycle through the schools in the district teaching how to keep kids safe.
“Essentially the guiding line there is that you use restraint only if you believe there’s a danger to the physical harm to the student or other people,” says Hugo.
Special Education Coordinator Kathy Bruner is one of the MCCSC trainers. She teaches staff to leave students alone and use verbal cues to calm them. But if that does not work, she recommends restraint.
“We try to enable teachers, educators, security guards, principals—anybody that’s working in the school system, to be equip with a skill set sort of a tool kit of ideas and strategies they can use to deescalate any kind of escalating behavior,” says Bruner.
If a child is restrained or set apart from classmates, parents must be notified of the incident within 24 hours.