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Ohio


Commenters Weigh In on ODE Seclusion Room Policy
Some say ODE shouldn't regulate seclusion rooms at all. Others call for more regulation.
by WKSU's IDA LIESZKOVSZKY


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Ida Lieszkovszky
 
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In The Region:
Ohio has no laws that govern the use of seclusion rooms in schools, but the Department of Education is working on a policy for best practices. Part of the policy-writing process is an open-comment period that ended last week. StateImpact Ohio’s Ida Lieszkovszky has this report on the more than 100 comments.
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Many school administrators wrote to say the Ohio Department of Education should NOT regulate seclusion and restraint. 


A letter co-authored by 20 school superintendents in the Stark County area said there was no need for the policy, as those concerns are addressed in the state’s law on corporal punishment. The superintendents wrote that “the proposed Policy and Rule deviate from that standard and fail to consider the significant financial and human resource implications.” 

Parents and advocacy groups recommended stronger regulations, calling for more training of staff, or asking the department to outlaw the use of seclusion rooms entirely. 

A recent investigation by State Impact Ohio and the Columbus Dispatch found that schools sometimes misuse seclusion rooms as a way to punish students who misbehave, instead of as a last resort to prevent injury. 

The state board of education is set to vote on the policy in December. 

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