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Student Restraint Bill Set For Vote

Last updated on Friday, March 22, 2013

(STATEHOUSE) - Schools would be instructed to physically restrain students only as a last resort, under a bill set for a House committee vote next week.

Education Committee members heard heartbreaking testimony from parents of special-needs students who say their schools responded with force to minor misbehavior.

Nicole Hicks of Wabash County says her autistic fourth-grader crawled under his desk on the first day of school, and three staffers came and dragged him out. Hicks says the school never notified her or her husband what had happened, but their son returned home and sobbed for hours.

The Senate has already passed the bill to create a commission to adopt rules before the next school year for when restraint can be used, and what kind of training teachers should receive.

The bill makes clear the use of restraints should be kept to a minimum, but would have the commission draft a model policy for specifics, with school districts required to adopt either that policy or their own.

Legislators say they want to make sure the bill doesn't get turned on its head, with teachers inhibited from taking action against students who turn violent.

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