Miss. Releases Policy on Restraining Students

Mississippi is one of the last states in the country without a student restraint policy.
Published: March 23, 2016

Mississippi’s first policy on restraining and isolating public school students was proposed by the state’s Board of Education on March 18.

The policy, which is now open for public input, could be enacted as early as April, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

The policy is designed to reinforce positive behavior in students rather than focusing on punishments. Under the policy, school personnel would not be allowed to put students on the floor facedown and hold them there or put students in locked rooms without adult supervision. Training would also be required for personnel to learn how to touch students when physical restraint is required, and schools would begin reporting statistics on restraint and seclusion.

RELATED: Handcuffing and Physical Restraint on School Grounds

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Mississippi is one of the last five states in the country without a policy on physical restraint, although handcuffs are already banned in schools for everyone but school resource officers and police.

Many advocates for a restraint policy, including parent groups, expressed support for the proposal.

“Children behave in a certain way for a certain reason,” State Superintendent Carey Wright said of the importance of finding the causes of bad behavior. Wright had consulted with parents in the weeks leading up to the proposal.

Some groups focused their lobbying efforts on getting seclusion tactics banned altogether in schools. But Wright called that idea unrealistic, citing her experiences with students as a principal.

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