The Dept. of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa recently came to an agreement with the Cedar Rapids Community School District in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to acknowledge discriminatory use of seclusion and restraint against students with disabilities.
This decision came after the DOJ found that the school district continually restrained and secluded students in an inappropriate manner with disabilities.
These practices led to some students losing hundreds of hours of instructional time. The district did not end seclusion when students were in a state of crisis or trauma, nor did they end the seclusion when there was no longer any alleged threat of harm.
“When schools isolate and unlawfully restrain children with disabilities, rather than provide them with the supports needed for success in the classroom, they violate the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.
Some of the changes that are included in this agreement include the end of seclusion; limiting the use of restraints; and offering counseling and other services to students who are restrained.
There was a similar situation in New York.
In January, a federal court ruled that the City of New York’s Dept. of Education routinely denied students with diabetes access to field trips and bus transportation.