Saturday, September 22, 2012

Restraint and seclusion at Deer Valley elementary school


From the KGK Blog


Deer Valley faces lawsuit over its restraint and seclusion practices

Thanks to Carey Pena and Channel 3 for bringing attention to the issue of restraint and seclusion in Arizona. Hopefully this news feature will raise awareness of an otherwise hidden problem in our schools. That is what our clients in this story hope to accomplish so that other children do not have to endure what this little boy did.

This continues to be a national epidemic, but a hidden epidemic. Parents need to be vigilant to assure this is not happening to their own children. Non-verbal children are most at risk, but verbal children as well can believe that they're "bad" and that this is "ok" and they may even be afraid to tell their parents. There may be no signs or symptoms, or there may be bruises and scratches (from the restraint or from the child self-injuring while in seclusion). Note any changes in your child's usual routines and behaviors, any new founded fears, and just ask the school - ask your child's teacher, the school principal, a trusted staff of the school - if the school has a seclusion room, a room - although the school may call it a "cool down" room, or any other less punitive sounding name.

Here, Deer Valley has a restraint and seclusion policy -- on paper. It failed to abide by its own policy. Words don't mean much on paper, without the intent to actually implement the policy as written.