Report Finds Enforcement Gap in Seclusion, Restraint Policy

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A disability rights group says it’s found gaps in the way Ohio schools enforce a rule limiting the seclusion and restraint of students whose behavior affects order in classrooms.

Disability Rights Ohio says in a Monday report that the state’s Department of Education needs a stronger way to monitor schools for compliance with the policy.

Ohio passed a rule in 2013 restricting schools’ use of seclusion rooms or physical restraint as punishment for children or for staff convenience.

Schools are required to report incidents of seclusion and restraint to the state’s education department. But the department lacks authority to force districts to provide the information, and schools are not sanctioned if they don’t.

An education department spokeswoman says the agency working with districts to help them to better understand the policy and submit accurate data.