Special Education and Student Needs Essay

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Seclusion Restraints

According to the US Department of Education (USDE), seclusion restraints should be avoided as much as possible, unless there is no other alternative to control the child's behavior. "Physical restraint or seclusion should not be used except in situations where the child's behavior poses imminent danger of serious physical harm to self or others and restraint and seclusion should be avoided to the greatest extent possible" ("Restraint and Seclusion," 2012, p.2). Of course, many people are still concerned that this is too subjective a standard and that it may be abused. Guidelines have also been issued by the Department to emphasize that restraints must never be used to punish a child but rather should only be used to prevent the child doing further harm to self or others ("Restraints and Seclusion," 2012, p.12). The preferred strategy to enhance safety in the classroom is behavioral modification, not using repeated restraints. Multiple uses of restraints upon multiple students by the same individual should trigger an administrative review ("Restraint and Seclusion," 2012, p.12).

Although official USDE guidelines specifically state that restraint policies should be uniform for children with and without disabilities, in actual practice, students with disabilities are far more likely to be restrained, "usually with those who have autism or are labeled emotionally disturbed.
Sometimes the students will get upset; they might even get violent" (Shapiro 2014). There is a real risk that children who are restrained physically may get hurt. There is always a delicate balance between ensuring the safety of other students, teachers, and the student him or herself versus the risks of restraints. Suggested guidelines should include suggested training for school administrators in federal education policy as well as developing guidelines about how to use restraints with maximum efficacy and minimum harm to the students. Finally, limiting the amount of time students can be restrained until a parent can be contacted is imperative, since if a child poses a real and constant risk, he or she should be removed from the school environment to a more appropriate location with experienced personnel.


Special education students should be required to take assessments for their ability level. Forcing students to take tests which do not reflect their capacity or educational curriculum is of little value to determine how and if they are progressing, which is the primary intention of implementing NCLB. "One of the hallmarks….....

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Berwick, C. (2015). No Child Left Behind's greatest achievement? The Atlantic. Retrieved from:


Restraint and seclusion. (2012). US Department of Education. Retrieved from:


Shapiro, J. (2014). National data confirms cases of restraint and seclusion in public schools.

NPR. Retrieved from: http://www.npr.org/2014/06/19/322915388/national-data-confirms-cases-of-restraint-and-seclusion-in-public-schools

Strauss, V. (2015). Will schools lose federal funds if kids don't take mandated tests?

The Washington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/04/02/will-schools-lose-federal-funds-if-kids-dont-take-mandated-tests-fact-vs.-threat/?utm_term=.3052e2482baa

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