physical restraint at school

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lordhelpme, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    where do you all stand with-the use of restraint at school. the prinicple and teacher had 'proper' training on the holds to use but i have read some scary stuff lately. i have given permission but to me it seems they are having to use it too much. i think they are not managing the early onset of meltdowns so they end up too often in the restraint mode. difficult child is running away from them now and locking himself in the bathroom or running to the other end of the building.
    they had to lockdown the bldg yesterday to find him.

    grrrr. we have a bip mtg today. thoughts?
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Is there a intervention room at school? When the tweedles were in a more mainstream setting they were sent to intervention. Restraints were only used in the case of self harm or physical aggression toward others.
  3. bonkers

    bonkers New Member


    We too gave school permission to restrain difficult child, it has not been a problem for us, he has not needed to be restrained AT SCHOOL sense October. Both the principal and his teacher have ADHD kids with other behavoir problems, so I think they are more consertive.. I think it would depend on the people and your feelings.. If you do what you feel is right in your heart, even if you are wring, you are still right... Does that make any sense??

    Trust your instincts - Even when it is hard...
  4. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    For physical violence towards others, or self-harming, then I agree with restraining a student. For other things not so much. in my opinion it makes things worse usually. My difficult child hasn't had to be restrained at school, but husband did it at home once when difficult child wouldn't listen to him and difficult child was starting to go over the top. All it did was make the situation worse, difficult child went wild with wanting to be let go and took forever to calm down.

    If you feel the school is restraining your difficult child too often, perhaps you should meet with them and discuss it. I could see my difficult child running away when he was younger, if he knew they were going to restrain him in any way. Perhaps it's the same with your difficult child
  5. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    The school has had to restrain my difficult child on occasion when he was younger. I'm with you, if they are restraining him too much, something is wrong with the way they are trying to prevent the meltdowns.

    In the BIP, I would make restraining the last resort, after a series of other interventions and ONLY if your difficult child is being violent. If they still are restraining him often, reconvene a meeting for more ideas on interventions.
  6. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Giving the school the option of restraints compromises the commitment to positive behavior supports , avoiding problems , seeing how the school staff contribute to your child's behavior. As Alfie Kohn says - discipline is the problem , not the solution

  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I respect a great deal of what you share here. I'd like to comment though - I have emotionally disturbed children who can & will hurt themselves and/or others.

    A restraint, chemical or physical, is sometimes the only way to maintain safety. All the positive supports in the world are not going to stop kt from going dissociative.

    If positive behavior supports were the only answer my tweedles would have been PCs a long time ago.
  8. oceans

    oceans New Member

    I would try to work on other strategies to use. The restraint should be a last resort if he might harm himself or others. Maybe it is time for a change in the behavior plan?
  9. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    I believe that some schools will resort to restraints every time if they are given permission to use restraint at all. As said by others, restraints should be used only for safety issues. My daughter's school also uses restraints at the drop of a hat. My daughter is restrained for noncompliance. Once restraints are used for noncompliance, it often results in aggression. So, the restraints are causing a problem that then gets my difficult child sent home.

    You say they have the proper training to use restraints, but it is my understanding that restraints are a part of CPI (Crisis Prevention Intervention), but that the most important part of CPI also involves therapeutic de-escalation. Seems that is lacking in your situation as well as mine. If they use their training to first de-escalate perhaps the restraints won't be needed at all.

    By the way, when your difficult child runs from staff do they give chase? A 6 year old can see this as a game if the adult is giving chase and will run even more and further. Just my .02 cents worth.

  10. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    thanks everyone. difficult child can get violent so that is why i allowed the restraints. to answer mistmouse this was part of the crisis management training i took with-them. i just don't see them using the de-escalation properly but i know that this technique take time to learn to use appropiately cuz we struggle with-it here at home still.

    we had the bip and they want to stay on course and difficult child actually had a good day today. i think some of the problem is that the principle and the teacher think difficult child is 'choosing' not to do school work just to not do it, while i think a majority of the time it is his wiring and his perception that lead his 'choices'. does that make sense. i think they take the refusal to do school work to personally as a slap in their face as opposed to it being more than that. thus they push the school work issue, have meltdowns that don't get defused and end up in him being restained and running away.

    such a vicious cycle that is hard to manange in a public school setting.
  11. tryingteacher

    tryingteacher New Member

    I am a BED teacher and the only time we use physical restraint is when it is a last resort and it has to be done to protect the child, other children and school staff. Is there a seclusion room at your childs school where he can go and get it all out? I am very thankful for my seclusion room and my restraint training. One of my little guys actual told me and his therapist that the restraint helps him calm down due to the deep pressure. The school has to by law provide you with a Greenblat (sp) form each time they are restraining him. Hope this helps.
  12. mistmouse

    mistmouse New Member

    The school might have to provide a Greenblat form each time they restrain a child, if they were a school district that followed the law. My school district does not follow the law...they believe the IDEA is just an idea they can follow if they choose. My daughter has been restrained more times than I can keep count, but not once was because of safety concerns. I have never received any form when a restraint was done. Over a three year period of time staff has filed battery charges 14 times against my daughter. Each time was related to an improper restraint, and the incident leading up to the restraint was noncompliance on my daughter's part when being asked to leave the room after she was disruptive. No de-escalation techniques were used, and the three positive prompts outlined in her BIP were not used either.

    So, a school district can get away with restraints, and with injuring my child during an improper restraint, but I can't file charges or stop the restraints. Restraints don't calm my daughter since she is claustrophobic and there is a history of things done by the SD that causes her to reach flight or fight as soon as they put their hands on her.

  13. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I am afraid my personal experiences coincide with what mistmouse says. The law is only as good as the enforcement of the law and some of us live in places where noone has nmuch interest in upholding the law. Even if you go to due process.
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have been at my current school for 10 years. In all that time we have only had one student who needed restraining and it wasn't often but it was needed. It was always used only as a last resort.
  15. thestormyjourney

    thestormyjourney New Member

    My youngest difficult child (7) had to be restrained a lot when he was on antidepressants (they made him extremely violent and defiant) and he was in a mainstream school. They did not have my permission but as he was extremely violent and throwing bricks etc there really wasnt a choice. Now that he's at a behavioural school they have my written consent and they are trained in proper restraint techniques. He has to be restrained a lot less but I know that when he is, it absolutly ENRAGES him even further and only escalates the situation, and he has to be restrained until he literally stops fighting from exhaustion, by whic time he is dripping in sweat and ready to pass out. It's horrible, but I know that the school he is at now use it absolutly as a last resort. Better than having another student stabbed with a stick.

  16. RsrceInstrctrMD

    RsrceInstrctrMD New Member

    This is so interesting. I am a Resource Instructor at a nonpublic school in Maryland that regularly implements physical restraints as a means to preserve staff and student safety. In order for staff to utilize any physical intervention, he or she must first be trained in a crisis intervention technique titled "Therapeutic Options." In addition to the initial training, refreshers are conducted at least twice per school year or as needed.

    Before restraints are implemented, however, there are several other interventions that are strongly encouraged. To name a few, they are: PBIS, Collaborative Problem-Solving, use of an exlusion/MSDR (Multi-Sensory De-escalation Room), seclusion, sensory and/or occupational therapyto alert or calm, psychiatric services, plans outlined in each students' behavioral intervention plan, etc.

    I will be honest and admit that many of our restraints result from non-compliance, but not in the ways that many people state it. For instance, if a student is disruptive for an extended teacher, the classroom teacher, assistant, or School Counselor will re-direct and prompt students to listed one or more of some of the interventions listed above. However, after offered interventions have been utilized and/or misused (ie, a student is given a stress ball or other sensory item and throws it at student/staff), he or she is directed to the MSD Room. When the student refuses, staff often are required to escort him or her. Many students refuse, and push, kick, etc. That behavior can result in the implementation of a restraint. Some argue that that use of restraint is unnecessary, while some, particularly, those staff who endure the physical trauma, argue that the incident outlines imminent danger and/or grounds for the restraint.

    As a result, our organization, which consists of three different sites, has several Worker's Comp claims filed during the year. However, at our site, the number of student injuries outside of a few rug burns, has been next to nothing in my time there.

    So, my question is this: Can what can be done to reduce and/or elimintate the use of restraints but continue to preserve the acadmic climate of the classroom? I am very eager to read your input. Thank you.
  17. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I am not sure there is simply one answer. It depends on if a school is truly interested in helping or not, and it depends on so many other things as well. If a school is not going to comply with an IEP or modifications or a BIP- then they will most likely have more need to want to use restraint. In some Special Education ed bd classrooms the sad reality is there may not even be an "academic climate" to preserve.
    There are just too many variables in the different schools and in the different classrooms, it is hard to answer that question.
  18. realangel

    realangel New Member

    difficult child has been restrained at school but he attends a school for boys with behavior, emotional and educational difficulties. Mainstream Schools do NOT restrain in the UK. difficult child has been restrained many times for aggression and violent behavior.. last time was when he physically attacked his (male) teacher. We were told when he started the school that they restrain as a last resort and i believe if it needs to be done and is done in a safe and humane way as to not cause harm to the child, then by all means yes. But then again doesn't it depend on the age of the child? difficult child's school caters for boys aged 5 - 19, that is infants to further education. I don't think it would be fair to restrain a 5 year old, but then again i had to when difficult child was that small for his own safety and the safety of my other children
  19. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sorry, Alan, I don't agree with you on this one. There are occasional fights at my high school and I would like to see how Alfie Kohn would stop two students from beating each other to a bloody pulp without using physical restraint. I can't see positive behavior supports working in this situation.

    I don't think physical restraints are used at the high school level (at least at my school) as a discipline tool but I know that students who fight have to be pulled apart and restrained from hurting each other.

    by the way, I don't personally get between two students who are fighting. I press the call button for help. My students are bigger and stronger than me.