Tri-Village News

District OKs state-mandated restraint, seclusion policy

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Grandview Heights school board July 16 approved a state-mandated policy that put limits on school districts' use of restraints and seclusion to address students' behavior.

"We don't do seclusion in this district," Superintendent Ed O'Reilly said. "We never have students secluded by themselves and we haven't for years."

Seclusion is defined as the involuntary isolation of a student, not allowing the student to leave the room or space.

Districts are being required to adopt a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Policy by next Thursday, Aug. 1.

A model policy was adopted earlier this year by the state board of education. The policy stems from an executive order issued in 2009 by then-Gov. Ted Strickland calling for standards regarding the use of restraints and seclusion to be created.

The main provisions of the policy the school board was voting on define restraints and seclusion and place limits on when the tactics can be used in schools.

It outlines the requirements -- including training and reporting guidelines -- of staff members who do physically restrain a student or put a student in seclusion.

The local policy identifies the personnel who will comprise each school's team that will undergo training throughout the coming school year, O'Reilly said.

A guidance team will work with staff to develop a district behavioral policy, he said. Common expectations will be in place in all grades for both curricular and extracurricular activities.

Additional training will be offered to staff based on the input of those who attend the training this year.

The overall goal is "to promote high expectations for both school climate and culture in order to improve academic and social outcomes," O'Reilly said.