Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

April 4, 2013

All schools included in restraint bill

Law aims to develop isolation, restraints guidelines.

Indianapolis — Legislation aimed at reducing the use of physical restraints and locked isolation rooms to discipline students continues to gain support in the General Assembly.

On Tuesday, the House education committee amended a Senate bill that requires public school districts to develop seclusion and restraint policies to include the state’s parochial and private schools as well.

The legislation, if passed, would require schools to have policies in place by the 2014-15 school year and would require schools to train staff in the appropriate use of restraint and seclusion techniques, especially when used on children with physical and mental disabilities.

Backed by parents of children with special needs, Senate Bill 345 also would require schools to document and report to both parents and the state when those restraint and seclusion techniques are used.

The bill’s author, Republican Sen. Randy Head of Logansport, said the bill doesn’t prevent teachers from disciplining students, but builds in protection for both teachers and students.

“We want safety for everybody,” Head said. “This bill protects everybody from getting hurt.”

The push for the legislation started last year after the U.S. Department of Education released a study that found tens of thousands of students across the U.S. — most of them disabled — had been strapped down, physically restrained, or locked into isolation rooms by teachers or school staff to keep order in their classrooms. In some cases, the techniques led to injury and death.

Head wanted the legislation to apply to all schools — public, charter and private — but some private and charter schools lobbied to have non-public schools excluded from the bill.

On Tuesday, the House education committee put back into the bill the requirement that all accredited schools in Indiana – public, charter and private – be covered by the legislation.

“I’m conservative when it comes to putting additional mandates on schools, but the concern here is too important,” said Republican state Rep. Ed Clere of New Albany, who wrote the amendment to cover all schools. “This is about protecting vulnerable children,” Clere said. “There is no reason why this should cause any undue burden or excessive use of resources.”

Currently, the Indiana Department of Education encourages local school corporations to develop their own policies on the use of restraints and isolation techniques. But there is no requirement to do so.

“It’s a patchwork approach,” Clere said.

The legislation would require the state to establish a commission that would develop a model policy based on using locked isolation rooms and physical restraints as “last resort” techniques to keep students from harming themselves or others.

All schools would have to develop their own policies, using the commission’s model policy as a guide.

Though the legislation would cover all students — not just those with physical, mental or emotional disabilities — it has its strongest backing from organizations that advocate for children with special needs.

The U.S. Department of Education study released last year found about 70 percent of the nearly 40,000 students who were restrained or isolated in seclusion rooms during the 2009-10 school year had learning, behavioral, physical or developmental needs.

The study also found that African-American and Hispanic students were also disproportionately isolated or restrained.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • KFD Rescue 2 Staffing changes leave Kokomo Fire Department with one rescue truck A shift in how the Kokomo Fire Department is staffed and responds to calls has some firefighters worried they will not have access to all the equipment they need. City officials, however, maintain there will be no change in the quality of service pro

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kokomo Police officers reach out to public Tuesday Kokomo police will be out in full force Tuesday in area neighborhoods. In addition to their regular patrols, officers will be out getting to know residents and the issues they may have as part of National Night Out, a crime prevention event. National

    July 30, 2014

  • Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years. A report from the Department of Health and Human Serv

    July 30, 2014

  • Indianapolis man buys 2 $1M tickets in 3 months INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man is celebrating his second $1 million Hoosier Lottery prize in the past three months. Lottery officials say Robert Hamilton won a $1 million prize from a scratch-off ticket he bought last week at a convenience s

    July 30, 2014

  • Frankfort teen dies after rescue from Indiana city pool FRANKFORT (AP) — Authorities say a 15-year-old boy pulled from a central Indiana city pool has died. Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes says Adrian Alanis died in an Indianapolis hospital on Tuesday, the day after he was rescued from the deep end of the

    July 30, 2014

  • Pence pushing Medicaid alternative during DC trip INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is heading to Washington to seek federal approval of his proposed state-run alternative to traditional Medicaid in order to expand health care coverage for low-income residents. The governor's office says P

    July 30, 2014

  • Two arrested in purse-, wallet-snatching spree

    Two people were arrested late last week in relation to a string of purse and wallet thefts from shopping carts in local department stores.

    July 30, 2014

  • YMCA front rendering NIPSCO donates $50K to YMCA campaign The Northern Indiana Public Service Company donated $50,000 Tuesday to the Kokomo Family YMCA’s Beyond the Bricks campaign to build a new Y in downtown Kokomo.“The Y is a great resource for the community, so we’re glad to help it grow and add to the

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fatal Truck+Car Accident03 Woman killed after vehicle collides with semi head-on A woman was killed Monday night after her vehicle collided with a semi truck in the northbound lanes of U.S. 31 near the junction with U.S. 931.Elizabeth Ann Jeffries, 41, Monticello, died after her car apparently left the road and entered oncoming,

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bldg Wall Collapse 01 KipCor purchases partially collapsed downtown building A building that has long been a part of downtown Kokomo’s landscape will remain intact, but undergo extensive demolition, after being purchased by a company that has been active in the city’s redevelopment efforts. The Barko building, also known as t

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries