Tuesday, March 13, 2012

TASH responds to American Association of School Administrators position supporting restraint , seclusion in schools

The TASH press release. Pictured is a seclusion room in Murrayville, Ga., where a 13-year-old killed himself in 2004.

Last week, the American Association of School Administrators issued an unsubstantiated, ill-informed and reckless report in which it voiced support for restraint and seclusion use on children in our schools.

This report gained much attention through e-mail circulation and national news reports. TASH has responded in order to bring clarity and truth to the conversation.

In the report, AASA frames the decision to use restraint and seclusion this way: "If school districts were unable to occasionally use these techniques with students with severe behavioral or emotional disorders, then these students would have to be institutionalized or sent to private facilities where they may not have the same rights and services available to them."

Either submit to restraint and seclusion or be institutionalized? We know these are not the only options. AASA goes on to suggest restraint and seclusion ensures greater safety for teachers, and that these practices are what allow students to remain in public school settings.

The truth is, restraint and seclusion is dangerous and traumatic for everyone involved, and is used most often for convenience and punishment rather than emergencies. These practices also disproportionately impact students with significant disabilities, particularly those between ages 6 and 10.
You can download a copy of the TASH response letter here.