Report: Texas Schools Still Forcibly Restrain Students Too Often

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The advocacy group Disability Rights Texas examined statewide data and found that students with disabilities and Black students are physically restrained by educators at disproportionately high rates.

In Texas, when a student is deemed a threat to themselves or others at school, a teacher or staff member has to intervene and forcibly restrain them — physical restraints that are only supposed to be used in an emergency, according to federal guidelines, and by staff members whov’e been trained.

But some Texas schools are still forcibly restraining students at high rates, according to a new report from Disability Rights Texas.

The advocacy group examined statewide data and found that students with disabilities experience 91% of all restraints, even though they make up just under 10% of all Texas students. Many of those children have been diagnosed with austim or a disability related to an emotional disturbance like anxiety.

“When we talk about the population of special education who are enduring restraints, we’re talking about some of the most vulnerable children in the state,” said Dustin Rynders, a supervising attorney with Disability Rights Texas. “And so asking schools and the (Texas Education Agency) and the legislature to pay attention to their unique needs and and protect them from injury should be should be a top priority.”

 

Read more on the Houston Public Media website.