The Delaware Department of Education released the Restraint & Seclusion report for the 2015-2016 school year. The number of physical restraints this year were 2,695, up from 2,307 in 2014-2015. That means there were 388 more physical restraints of students last year compared to the year before. I have to ask why everything is increasing with discipline in our schools. I can’t help but think that Common Core really isn’t working, especially for students with disabilities. Like last year, most of these physical restraints are going to students with disabilities and over half of them were African-American students. The highest age group was 9-11, and boys were more likely to be restrained than girls. You can read the full report below. I broke it down last year, but I really don’t have the stomach for that today.
Jenn C just commented on here about the debate over School Resource Officers (SROs) in Delaware schools and if they are needed or not. There are valid arguments about the issue, but with the controversy over Officer Fields down in South Carolina, more people are talking about this. As a father of a student with disabilities, this mother’s fear is very real to parents. And what happened to her child is absolutely appalling. I hope she gets some sort of justice on this matter.
Training is the key. My daughter is restrained when all of her other supports fail. I do know that her entire team including the principal and other support staff are trained and if she says “you are hurting me” they have to let go. That being said – more SROs is not the answer. I met with Rep. Williams about an incident last year where the SROs got involved with a student with a BIP and IEP and removed the student from school and took him to the local hospital where he was committed and parental rights were removed even when mom was right there and no one consulted her. This incident in the media recently is not the first of over the top abuse of power by SROs. I have been fighting them being in the schools because of the stats showing that special needs kids, at risk kids and minorities suffer when police are present. I have been fighting for years and it seems no one is listening.