The state Board of Education is updating the rules that govern the use of restraints and so-called "time out" rooms used to discipline school children. Board attorney Carol Greta says the changes are the first to the rules since they took effect in 1991.
Greta says one major change is a time limit of 60 minutes or one class period on detention rooms, and the other major change requires districts to document it any time a child is restrained or put in a detention room. The rule also defines the size and type of rooms that can be used.
Greta says right now the rules just use the word "reasonable" regarding the time period for use, and the type of room used. She says the new rules give the schools a better idea of what they mean by reasonable. Greta says the changes would do not put so many restrictions on districts that they couldn’t administer discipline if it is needed.
Greta says the rule doesn’t say that a child has to be released after 60 minutes, it simply says an administrator has to give permission to continue to have the child kept in the room if the initial 60 minutes was not enough to calm the child down. Greta says the rules changes have been in the works for several years and are not a reaction to any one incident.
There are always cases regarding this, but I can tell you that these rules are not in response to any one case, or any two cases for that matter, " Greta says. Greta says many districts already have set guidelines for these cases. The districts have to follow the state minimum guidelines, but can implement stricter rules than the state standard. The state board approved the changes at its meeting Wednesday. A public hearing on the rules will be held on July 8th.
See all the proposed changes in the link below.