Harwood Union Unified School District reevaluating restraint procedures

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 11:54 PM EST
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MORETOWN, Vt. (WCAX) - The Harwood Union Unified School District is reevaluating its approach to the restraint and seclusion of students, practices that are only supposed to be used when students put their peers or anyone else in danger.

For the past several years, HUUSD has stood out, with its above-average use of these techniques. At a school board meeting on Wednesday, they talked about short- and long-term solutions to minimize restraints. The school board also appointed a committee to review and update the policies surrounding these practices.

One major change that may be coming is disallowing the use of restraints that have a student face down or lying on their back. They’re also looking to provide more resources for students and trauma-informed training for educators.

“It’s a three-step process to the ground with a small child. That can’t not cause trauma,” committee member Ashley Woods said. “I think we should want to be on the side of what is proper in the modern world. I don’t think we should leave any exceptions.”

By this time in the school year in 2022, there had been 102 restraints and 28 seclusions. The district implemented some professional development after seeing the trend. This year, they’ve only had 34 restraints and no seclusions.

The school board will meet again next Monday to continue reevaluating the policy.

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