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California schools struggle with restraint training programs

Restraint training for teachers who deal with unruly students has become a bigger need than ever in some California counties, reports the Bay Citizen. Negative “behavioral episodes in California schools more than doubled to 21,076 between the 2005-6 and 2009-10 school years, according to California Department of Education figures.” Instances of the restraint or seclusion of a student “are considered emergency interventions” that are employed when a student appears to be a threat to his or herself or to others.

For some time, schools have relied on restraint training programs and protocols that were developed by companies that seemed to have “few qualifications.” Federal law applies “strict rules” for restraint programs in hospitals and “treatment centers,” but little regulation applies to schools. In many instances, teachers are largely unsure of how to properly restrain a student because they have been trained by outdated program models or have not kept up with newer techniques.

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