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DRO is gearing up for the November 4 General Election by offering trainings, publications and general information. Check back here for updates. ...more

The City of Portland is hiring a Compliance Officer and Community Liaison to monitor the Portland Police Bureau's use of force. Interviews for the 3 candidates are open to the public and will take place this Monday, September 29. ...more

Ramírez, an advocate at DRO, has been re-appointed to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. She was first appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities in 2011. ...more

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Keeping Schools Safe for Everyone: Working Together to Help Schools have Effective Rules Limiting the Use of Seclusion & Restraint

This year, Disability Rights Oregon is launching an initiative to Keep School Safe for Everyone. As part of this campaign, we are trying to find out more about how school districts are doing both in establishing the required policies and procedures, and in properly implementing them. Read on to learn more and find out THREE EASY WAYS YOU CAN HELP!

A national movement has grown in recent years to eliminate, or at least severely limit, the use of restraint and seclusion in the schools.  Restraint and seclusion are inherently risky, and students with disabilities are getting hurt and even dying in the process of being restrained and secluded.  Many are traumatized and humiliated as well. 

The goal of school districts is to keep students and staff safe.  We at DRO share that goal, both for the student at risk of being restrained and for other students and staff. 

As Arne Duncan, the US Secretary of Education, stated in a July, 2009 letter to school superintendents, the use of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), together with state rules strictly limiting the use of restraint and seclusion, can drastically reduce the number of times children are restrained at schools.  The PBIS system looks at the reason the student is engaging in particular behaviors and then focuses on positive ways for the student to get those needs met.  When PBIS is properly used, behavior is defused before it becomes unsafe behavior requiring restraint and seclusion.

At the urging of DRO, the State of Oregon recently enacted rules limiting the use of restraint and seclusion to situations in which the student’s behavior poses a threat of imminent, serious physical harm to the student or others.  These rules also direct school districts to establish written policies and procedures.  School district policies must include provisions for staff training, debriefing, and notification of the parent or guardian on the same day as an incident of restraint or seclusion occurs.  More information is attached regarding the detailed requirements of these rules.

While many districts may be trying diligently to follow these rules, and to provide PBIS, we are concerned that some are not.

Three Ways You Can Help!

  1. Request a copy of your district’s policy and procedures regarding restraint and seclusion and send a copy to DRO.  We will review them to see if they comply with the Oregon Administrative Rules.  If your district doesn’t have any policies or procedures, let us know that too.
  2. Let us know if you think your school district is complying with its own policies and procedures
  3. Tell us your stories.  If your child is experiencing restraint or seclusion at school, we would like to hear about it.  To the extent that our resources allow, we would like to help students who are experiencing restraint or to obtain better services that keep them, and those around them, safe.

Working together, parents and advocates can help ensure that the new Oregon rules foster a true change in how schools work with children with behavioral disorders.  Together, we can make schools safer for everyone. 

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