BocaNewsNow.com Reporting Leads To Protest, Petition…
Language Updated Before School Board Considers Policy.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Exclusive reporting by BocaNewsNow.com that the Palm Beach County School District’s proposed policy permitting the use of “straitjackets” and zip ties on the disabled is now being met with pushback.
As we reported on March 31st, the Palm Beach County School Board next week is set to consider the policy which is a local version of a Florida policy with direction to schools on how to — and how not to — deal with disabled students who are displaying behavioral problems.
From the policy referenced in our reporting:
“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.”
But following our report, parents and advocates of those with disabilities launched an online petition on Change.org. As of Tuesday afternoon, several hundred people had signed.
It may ultimately not be necessary. BocaNewsNow.com has learned that the policy issue may be more of a “cut and paste” issue than a new direction for the School District of Palm Beach County. Sources tell BocaNewsNow.com that many in the school district were appalled when the policy was published — apparently verbatim — from a dated State of Florida manual or other material.
“We would never use straight jacks on kids,” said a source. “Never. It should have never been written into the policy.”
The original policy, posted prior to our reporting, has been updated. While there are still a few references to “straight jackets” and “zip ties,” the mentions are significantly less aggressive than in the first draft. Even so, parents tell BocaNewsNow.com that they are prepared to let their voices be heard during the meeting.
The Palm Beach County School District Board meeting is set for April 13th.
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