I live in Phoenix Arizona. My oldest daughter went to public school here starting in the 6th grade, my youngest has been in school here since kindergarten and is no in 11th grade. I have always been a classroom mommy, attended all parent teacher conferences, gone on almost every single field trip, graded papers, had copies of curriculum’s every year…let’s say I am very involved in my daughters education.
I will be posting many more posts on issues I have had with the public school system here in Arizona, in particular Deer Valley School District, but for right now I am dealing with the use of Restraint and Seclusion of students used in the Arizona Public School System.
I happened to come across a news story about a court case involving a seven year old boy who was secluded and restrained at Desert Sage Elementary School in the Deer Valley School District.
I had no idea that restraint and seclusion of any kind was used in the schools here. I had never In 17 years of having a child in public schools here read or seen any document or paragraph of chapter in any student or parent handbook covering school policies and rules and regulations that mentioned anything about the use of restraint and seclusion for children that have disabilities or not.
I immediately started research. I now know why I had no idea.
Here are the possible laws, statutes, policies, guidelines and requirements that a state can have regarding restraint and seclusion (Arizona has none of these. Arizona is completely unregulated in every aspect of this practice). There is no single federal law. Each state goes unchecked by the federal government and is left to do as it sees fit.
ARIZONA PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE NOT REQUIRED BY THE STATE TO DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
– Collect data or have a central database for uses and results.
– Not required to notify parents on same day, within 24 hours or 1 calendar day or anytime.
– No restrictions prohibited use of chemical or mechanical restraints.
– No law banning any restraints that impede breathing.
– No law stating that the intervention must end when the emergency ends.
– No requirement to try less restrictive methods or to deem other ways ineffective before the use of restraint or seclusion.
– No monitoring of students in seclusion required.
– No law limiting restraint or seclusion use to immediate threat of physical danger, property damage or class disruption. Teacher discretion is all that is required.
– No time limit for restraint or seclusion.
– Not limited to students with disabilities.
– No training, certification, or any kind of special degree is needed. All teachers ‘qualified’.
For an extensive report on which states have what restrictions etc. go to
All states use this practice of control and discipline on some level for students ages pre-school to 12 years old, sometimes older. I am appalled at this. Not so much that its use is the norm among the mentally disabled, but that basically any adult can use it. I can understand how some disabled students would pose a threat of physical harm and they do need to be ‘controlled’ by medical professionals…not teachers. There is no excuse what so ever for restraints and seclusion to be used in regular classrooms. If a child is that dangerous that they need restraints or seclusion they shouldn’t be in a public classroom. Under no circumstances should any child be restrained or secluded by anyone other than law enforcement officers for property damage and no one, law enforcement, medical professionals or teacher should restrain or seclude a child for classroom disruption.