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*** UPDATED x1 *** Am I missing something here?

Monday, Apr 6, 2020

* ProPublica Illinois today

Five months ago, when Illinois schools Superintendent Carmen Ayala learned students were being repeatedly shut inside small rooms alone as punishment and physically held down on the floor, she said she cried. She vowed it would never happen again.

But Illinois State Board of Education officials negotiated with a key legislative rule-making committee to allow schools to use prone restraint for one more school year, aiming to phase out its use by July 2021. The decision last week came after a few small schools — including one whose advisory board includes state lawmakers — mounted letter-writing campaigns and direct appeals to government leaders.

State education board members already had relaxed the emergency ban that prevented children from being secluded by themselves, though with clearer direction on when isolated timeouts can and can’t be used and, for the first time, state oversight. The board, however, had remained firm on not allowing face-down, or prone, floor restraints because they are too dangerous.

That last sentence is not true.

* How do I know it’s not true? From ProPublica Illinois this past December

Illinois Will Allow Prone, Supine Restraints on Children While Schools Learn to Phase Them Out

Amending emergency rules put in place two weeks ago, the Illinois State Board of Education says it will again allow schoolchildren to be physically restrained in positions it had banned, though only in crisis situations.

All JCAR did last week was extend those amended emergency rules from last December. The emergency rules covered quiet rooms and physical restraint.

* Hannah Meisel at the Daily Line thoroughly covered last week’s meeting

The commission, known as JCAR, meets monthly to approve rules written by state agencies and boards in order to implement newly passed state laws. Often, before JCAR is able to take final action on rules, emergency rules will be written that can last up to several months.

One of the most pressing set of emergency rules JCAR needed to vote to extend were ones approved by the Illinois State Board of Education in November after Tribune/ProPublica Illinois investigation into the use and potential abuse of isolation rooms in school settings for children who are deemed disruptive in classroom settings. The new rules prohibit the use of locked seclusion rooms and stop schools from using prone restraint.

Cunningham said though the emergency rules would expire while school was still out of session in Illinois due to Pritzker’s executive order shuttering schools to prevent the spread of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, the rule was still important to have in place for special education students who have been moved to out-of-state boarding schools better equipped to handle their needs. Some of those schools are still in session. […]

Beyond those special education students at out-of-state facilities, Cunningham said that if school was resumed statewide in a month or further down the road, without JCAR having met to extend the emergency rules on isolation rooms, it would “become a complicated legal question.”

“We would open things up to all sorts of legal debate about us renewing a rule after it was already expired,” Cunningham said. “Do we have ability to extend a rule that already expired?”

*** UPDATE *** ISBE…

Hi Rich,

I am sending some information for your post on the recent ProPublica story on prone restraint:

Following weeks of conversations, it became clear that it would not be possible to move forward with a ban on the use of prone restraint via rulemaking at this time. JCAR informed ISBE that if a one-year extension on the practice was not accepted, a filing prohibition for this section would be under serious consideration by members. ISBE agreed to this one-year extension on the use of prone restraint in very narrow circumstances to allow schools more time to transition to less restrictive techniques.

ISBE looks forward to continued talks with members of JCAR and with members of the General Assembly regarding the agency’s concerns with the use of prone restraint. ISBE will fully support legislation to ban prone restraint.

Thank you,

Jackie Matthews
Director of External Communications
Illinois State Board of Education

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OpentoDiscussion - Monday, Apr 6, 20 @ 1:39 pm:

    forty eight years ago I taught in public schools. I left and so glad I did. It certainly has not gotten any better.

    So glad that some still want to be teachers. It is not easy. Kind of a ‘lose,lose’ situation.

  2. - Morty - Monday, Apr 6, 20 @ 1:50 pm:

    I have been following the reporting very closely.

    Let’s just say I felt it was biased and often misleading. Or, as Rich pointed out above, wrong.

    Propublica has need be leading an honest and open discussion on an issue that should have an honest and open discussion, instead by casting villians and heroes they have forced those discussions down.

    Anytime an organization attempts toexplain the nuiances and legal ramifications regarding the changes Pp would hammer them in an update to the story.

    So most organizations didn’t bother with public comment and begain lobbying behind the scenes.

  3. - Morty - Monday, Apr 6, 20 @ 1:53 pm:

    That second sentence got caught in rewriting and made no sense.


    It was supposed to say ‘Propublica could have lead an open and public discussion about a topic that needed open and public discussion’

  4. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Apr 6, 20 @ 2:29 pm:

    Pardon my ignorance but exactly what are the face down prone restraints and when are they used? Is this a temporary position, like cuffing a suspect? Or are they being hogtied for extended periods.

    At 13 I was 6′1″ and 185 pounds. Fortunately, I did not need to be restrained.

  5. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, Apr 6, 20 @ 3:22 pm:

    Over the years, there has been a shift to least restrictive environment as indicated on an IEP. This often includes mainstreaming some special education students into a traditional classroom. Some whose disabilities include intermittent explosive disorder and oppositional defiant disorder can change a classroom in seconds. Perhaps some students are best served in a self-contained classroom rather than mainstreaming.

    Blood on the walls, a police car waiting for one student, an ambulance for another was traumatic for everyone who witnessed that event.

  6. - Morty - Monday, Apr 6, 20 @ 8:36 pm:

    Last Bull Moose

    It involved a two person restraint.

    To sum up:
    Hands on 1. Two staff takes the student by the arms, one hand holding wrist. The other wrapped just above the elbow
    Standing wrap 2. One staff maintains hold of the arms, the other staff shifts behind the student and wraps, (like a hug from behind), left arm holding students right wrist (or vise verrsa) the other arm wrapped over the students right wrist (note, keeping your ‘junk’ oriented to the side for obvious reasons)
    Seated wrap. 3. The staff wrapping the student pulls the student into their body and falls backwards into a seated position. This means the staff lands on the floor, hopefully absorbing the impact instead of the student. The seated staff holds the student in a basket hold. The other staff is still holding the other arms and helping to guide the student into the seated position.

    4. Prone. From the seated wrap position the staff holding the student rolls the seated over onto their front. Other staff holding the students other arm moves over to do the same. From here the student is prone on the floor with one staff on each side. The staff has one arm holding the wrist of the student and one arm holding between the shoulder and the neck (NOT on either the should or the neck.)

    Done correctly, there is no pressure on the back of the chest- which could cause the positional asphyxiation concerns.

    Each of these steps is progressive, but depending on the severity, and be stopped at any point without escalating (i.e., if the kid cesses to be a danger to self or others the staff stops at that level).

    And the key is danger to self or others.

    Once there is no longer a danger any physical intervention is ended. In most cases, no one, student or staff, is injured. In instances where someone is injured, most often it is minor, bruising, slight abrasions, etc, and most often occur to the staff. (In my experience)

    There are other methods, the one I described was taught by the Menta Group. The initial training is 8 hours followed by refresher classes of 4 hours every year.

  7. - Morty - Monday, Apr 6, 20 @ 8:43 pm:

    Although, as I said I thought the reporting was shoddy, but Pp has a demonstration of the model here

  8. - Morty - Monday, Apr 6, 20 @ 8:49 pm:

    Rudy’s teeth
    Blood on the walls

    Once had to help the janitor find kid’s teeth under some desks after they were knocked out by another kid.

    It happened during one of the three years we were not allowed to do physical management.

    It was pretty horrible.

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