Central Indiana schools use seclusion and restraints on children in order to calm them down and protect them from harming themselves and others. However, an investigation by WRTV found that some school districts were not accurately reporting how often a teacher has to use seclusion or a restraint on a child.
Restraints and seclusions are most often used on children with special needs as a last resort to protect themselves and other students. Some are concerned that the inability to report accurate numbers could reflect a larger problem of child abuse within schools. One mom said that her 19-year-old autistic son’s fear and anxiety stem from being restrained when he was younger.
A new Indiana law requires school districts to report the number of seclusions and restraints used to both the state and the child’s parents. WRTV found that over half of Central Indiana’s school districts reported no incidents of seclusion and restraint, which, according to one disability rights activist, indicates that the data is inaccurate and unreliable.