The State Board of Education unanimously approved changes to Michigan's policy on restraint and seclusion in schools at its March 14 meeting. The new policy implements the language in recently-enacted Michigan law that places significant limits on the use of these dangerous practices.
"We are pleased with the Board's action," said Mark McWilliams, MPAS Director of Public Policy and Media Relations. "The new policy is another step in making the protections in state law - protections that have been endorsed by parents, advocates, and educators - a reality in Michigan schools."
State law now limits use of restraint and seclusion to emergencies posing danger of harm to self or others, and places limits on how and by whom those emergency practices are used. It bans certain practices, such as prone restraint, that are especially dangerous, and encourages use of positive behavior support and other evidence-based practices to prevent future emergencies. The law also requires reporting to parents, data collection, and training for school personnel.
The new policy was drafted by a small group of stakeholders, including MPAS staff, and approved by the Board's Legislative Committee. MPAS provided testimony at the State Board meeting in support of the policy.
Local districts are required by law to adopt their own policies, consistent with the new statutes and the new Board policy, for the 2017-18 school year.
For more information on the new seclusion and restraint law, please contact MPAS at 800.288.5923.