Physical restraint at schools is a last resort when a student is about to hurt themselves of someone else. Five school districts in the state used a method called Aikido Control Training to teach staff how to physically restrain students.
The Kentucky Education Commissioner has sent an email to all public school superintendents telling them to put an end to that. The email said not only is Aikido Control Training a violation of state law, it puts children in harm's way.
Under a regulation passed in 2013, school personnel cannot use two Aikido restraints: prone and supine. Prone is when you restrain someone face-down on the ground and supine is when someone is restrained face up.
Schools in our area don't use these techniques, but they do restrain students when necessary.
Soon Marshall County High School will be full of students from a wide variety of backgrounds. It's up to Behavior Interventionist Jason Teague to help the students who have behavioral issues stay on track.
"A lot have times you have (students) with emotional issues, anger issues, different kinds of triggers," Teague said.
This is why superintendent Trent Lovett says the school district uses a form of training called Crisis Prevention Intervention for staff.
"We also have teachers trained to deescalate the issue, get things away from the student," Lovett said.
Lovett says if it has to happen, staff will restrain a student.
"Restraint training is only used in the case of a student if they are a harm to themselves or others," Lovett said.
Lovett says in the district's 10 schools, it happened about 15 times last school year, but a student was never held on the ground in any of those events.
"That's not going to deescalate the situation. In fact, it's probably going to make it worse, and it's not that that student even knows what he's doing," Lovett said.
It's about making sure all students get an education and stay out of harm's way.
The education commissioner's email says all school districts are required to submit the following items to the Kentucky Department of Education: the current physical restraint training vendor used by the district, the physical restraint training certified instructor's contact information, and current district policy regarding the use of physical restraint and seclusion. Those items have to be sent by email to the program manager no later than Tuesday, Aug. 9.
You can reach the Restraint and Seclusion Program Manager, Robert Meacham, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 502-564-4970, ext. 4112.
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