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Georgia Weighs Rules on Restraint and Seclusion

The Georgia Board of Education has proposed new rules about the use of restraint and seclusion in schools that could be approved as early as its July meeting.

The proposed rules would prohibit the use of seclusion, chemical restraints such as prescription drugs, mechanical restraints, or prone restraints. Physical restraint would only be allowed in extreme situations when students are in imminent danger to themselves or others, according to the Georgia School Boards Association's Capitol Watch online.

If the policy is approved, Georgia would no longer be one of the nearly 20 states that do not regulate seclusion and restraint in schools. The new rules would require schools to notify parents when their children are restrained by teachers and other school officials. The state had a high-profile case involving the use of a seclusion room, where a 13-year-old Hall County student hanged himself in 2004, the Associated Press reported.

Federal lawmakers are also considering a law that would prohibit restraint and seclusion in most circumstances. Education Week has written about the proposed federal legislation here.

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