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Commission Meets To Create Student Restraint Guidelines

Experts and parents say the guidelines will help educators cope with uncooperative children safely.

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Photo: AbbyD11 (flickr)

The commission plans to host training programs for teachers after the guidelines are developed.

A commission made up of two parents and seven education experts are working to create comprehensive guidelines for how teachers and school administrators restrain and seclude disruptive students.

A bill that passed the legislature last session called for the creation of the commission.

Republican State Senator Randy Head authored the bill. He’s also a member of the Indiana Autism Commission. He says as the commission creates the policy, it needs to keep students with special needs top of mind.

“It applies to all students at all times. I do think the special education population is going to be the most vulnerable population, so it’s more likely that seclusion and restraint will occur with those students,” he said.

Public and accredited private schools must adopt the state guidelines or put their own policies in place by the 2014-2015 school year.

Executive Director of the Indiana Non-Public Education Association John Elcesser sits on the commission and says right now, the group’s studying what works in other states so the guidelines can provide more than general recommendations.

“So I think there’s a little bit more background and study that’s being done with the creation of this commission, and the commission will also have an ongoing role in monitoring the implementation over time,” he said.

The commission also plans to train teachers on how to use the guidelines, and is trying to find a way to do so at low or no cost to the schools.

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