89.1 WEMU

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Wants New Guidelines For Handling Special Education Kids

Mar 2, 2016

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
Credit Courtesy Photo / michigan.gov

There’s a bipartisan effort at the state Capitol to ban special education teachers from secluding and restraining students. 


Under the legislation, teachers could still restrain and seclude special needs students in emergency situations.  Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley chaired the state’s special education task force, which recommended the ban.  He has called the practices “barbaric” and “inhumane.”  “When you replace that with the positive behavior interventions and supports, the ability for teachers to teach more effectively and students to learn more goes up,” said Calley.

There’s already a state policy discouraging the practices.  But Calley says that hasn’t done enough to stop it.  “Anecdotally, I do know that the non-emergency use of restraints and seclusions rooms is not unusual around our state.”

Of almost two thousand parents Calley’s task force surveyed, about a quarter of them said their child had been subjected to restraints or seclusion.

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— Jake Neher is the State Capitol Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org