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Kentucky Education Board Clarifies Restraint, Seclusion Policy

The Kentucky Board of Education has approved regulations strengthening its policies around restraining misbehaving students.Over the past several years, officials have considered changing the state's education department policies. Several states have laws on the books that regulate restraint. Kentucky is not among them, leaving the education department to set regulations on restraining students.“There’s going to be a training component behind it, that would certainly be welcome, so that you know exactly what you can and cannot do, rather than just trying to interpret a policy, training will be able to assist in implementation of that," said director of KentuckyCenter for School Safety Jon Akers, who was involved in early policy discussions.Several organizations and other constituents—including parents—were involved in the change and were part of a early task force that studies the issue and provided suggestions.  Under the new policy, all school staff would soon receive annual basic behavioral training. The stronger policy would also limit the use of restraint and seclusion only to situations in which someone is in imminent danger, which wasn't immediately clear under current policy. The new policy has been aligned with recommendations released this year by the federal government. The policy will have a public hearing soon and it needs final approval from the state’s Legislative Research Commission. It would likely be implemented during the 2013 school year.

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