Texas Schools Are Underreporting When Students Are Restrained, Federal Watchdog Finds

Two-thirds of Texas school districts reported zero incidents of students' being placed in restraints or seclusion in the 2015-16 school year, leaving authorities questioning how valid the required reporting is, according to a federal watchdog office. Nationwide, 70 percent of districts reported no incidents of having to restrict a student's ability to move freely or having to confine a student alone, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported. Accurate data is necessary to ensure the "vigorous enforcement of civil rights laws that protect students from discrimination," GAO officials wrote in the report released last week. The disciplinary tactics tend to disproportionately affect students with disabilities and boys. And families and advocates of students with disabilities say they're more likely to face abuse or neglect in schools because such students sometimes have trouble communicating about any mistreatment. Schools are required to report the use of restraints or seclusion to both state and federal officials. But advocates for children with disabilities say it's common for educators to either ignore reporting requirements or not understand them.   Continue reading...

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