Schools

Disabled May Be Zip Tied, Handcuffed, Placed In Straight Jackets In PBC Schools

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Palm Beach County School District To Approve New Policy For “Physical Restraint Of Students With Disabilities.”

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BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Trained staffers in the Palm Beach County School District may be given authority to zip tie or handcuff students with disabilities when they are considered to be out of control. Staffers may also be permitted to place these students in straight jackets.

BocaNewsNow.com obtained an advanced copy of Policy 5.181 which is to be considered at the School Board meeting on April 13th. The policy states

“In order to promote a safe learning environment, the School Board has authorized the implementation of specific restraint procedures for this population of students. These procedures include, but are not limited to, holding and escape techniques which, when implemented in accordance with approved practices, are designed to prevent injury to students and staff or prevent serious damage to property. Physical restraint does not include any form of mechanical restraint, such as blanket wrapping, tie-downs, harnesses, or use of tape.”

While tape and tie-downs are not permitted, other forms are, according to the policy draft:

“When all positive behavior interventions and supports have been exhausted. Restraint may be used only when there is an imminent risk if serious injury and shall be discontinued as soon as the threat posed by the dangerous behavior has dissipated. Techniques or devices such as straight jackets, zip ties, handcuffs, or tie downs may not be used in ways that may obstruct or restrict breathing or blood flow or that place a student in a facedown position with the student’s hands retrained behind the student’s back. Restraint techniques may not be used to inflict pain to induce compliance.”

Fearing a situation in which a student could be killed by a staff member kneeling on a student’s back and restricting airflow, the policy also prohibits: “Restraining a student in such any way that it places excess pressure on the student’s chest, back, or could reasonably be anticipated to cause, positional asphyxia.”

Read the complete policy draft, below. It will be considered during the April 13th public School Board meeting.

Policy-5.181-Policy-for-the-Use-of-Physical-Restraint-With-Students-With-Disabilities-development-4.13.22

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