New state rules would require schools to keep records of how often and why educators place children in seclusion rooms or physically restrain them.
Those records would be private, the rules say: Only the parents of the child who was secluded or restrained, or the Ohio Department of Education, can know about it.Making information about seclusion private could prevent the public, including other parents, from knowing whether their schools have improperly secluded kids. The Dispatch and StateImpact Ohio used incident reports like the ones that would be declared private in the new policy to expose the misuse of seclusion rooms in Ohio’s public schools.
The State Board of Education plans to adopt the state’s first policy governing seclusion and restraint in public schools on Tuesday. Until now, public schools have decided whether they want to use seclusion rooms — often small, cell-like spaces meant to hold violent children — and the circumstances in which they use them.
The state knows virtually nothing about seclusion in Ohio’s public schools because it never has asked which schools have rooms, how often they’re used or why.