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GAO Issues Report on Deaths and Abuse in Schools and Treatment Centers from Use of Seclusion and Restraint

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report to the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor on the use of seclusion and restraint in public and private schools and treatment centers in order to provide an overview of laws concerning use of these methods, to verify whether allegations of abuse and death from such methods are widespread, and to examine the facts of cases where students died or suffered abuse as a result of being secluded or restrained. The GAO found that no federal laws restrict the use of seclusion and restraint in schools and that state laws vary widely. While the GAO could not determine if allegations of abuse and death are widespread, it did find hundreds of cases of alleged abuse and death due to use of restraint and seclusion methods. One theme the GAO mentioned is that children with disabilities are sometimes restrained or secluded even without parental consent. To read the report, including the details of cases and state and federal laws, click here.


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