What can you do if your child is unfairly restrained at school?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2023 | Special Education Law

As a parent of a special needs child, it is distressing to learn that your child was unfairly restrained at school. Schools should only use restraints in specific circumstances, and the safety and dignity of the child must be the top priority.

If you find yourself in this difficult situation, there are steps you can take to address the issue.

Gather information

Advocating for your child starts with gathering as much information as possible about the situation at hand. Get a detailed account from your child and speak with any witnesses who observed the incident. Additionally, request copies of the relevant documentation from the school about the events that transpired.

Review school policies

Understand the school’s policies on restraint and seclusion. Ensure that the school policies comply with state and federal regulations for special needs students. This helps you frame your concerns more effectively, especially if the teacher violated policy with their behaviors.

Contact school officials

Request a meeting with the teacher, special education coordinator or school administration to review the incident. Express your concerns about the treatment of your child and provide copies of any evidence you gathered. Ask the school to directly address the situation.

Document everything

Keep detailed records of all communication, meetings and documents related to the incident. If the school fails to respond to the situation or offers inadequate resolution options, that documentation helps you support your complaint with authorities and any legal petitions.

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 7.3 million students received special education services. Parents of students in these programs should hold the school accountable for actions that negatively affect children, including the use of restraints.