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Violent and legal: The shocking ways school kids are being pinned down, isolated against their will

For more than a decade, mental-health facilities and other institutions have worked to curtail the practice of physically restraining children or isolating them in rooms against their will. Indeed, federal rules restrict those practices in nearly all institutions that receive money from Washington to help the young —including hospitals, nursing homes and psychiatric centers.

But such limits don't apply to public schools.

The practices — which have included pinning uncooperative children facedown on the floor, locking them in dark closets and tying them up with straps, handcuffs, bungee cords or even duct tape — were used more than 267,000 times nationwide in the 2012 school year, a ProPublica analysis of new federal data shows. Three-quarters of the students restrained had physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities.

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