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The United States Government Accountability Office Releases Report On Public Schools’ Use of Restraint and Seclusion Techniques

On June 18, 2019, the United States Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) released a report on its investigation into the use of restraint and seclusion on K-12 students by public schools districts. The GAO concluded that – based on the thirty (30) largest public schools in the United States – the nation’s public schools were not properly reporting the use of restraint and seclusion techniques. In fact, the GAO discovered that approximately seventy percent (70%) of public schools reported zero (0) incidents of restraint and seclusion when the public schools actually did not have the appropriate data to make that conclusion.

Based upon the GAO’s report, the United States Department of Education has vowed to work with the nation’s public schools to properly monitor and report restraint and seclusion techniques. Both the GAO and Department of Education urge public schools to avoid reporting zero (0) incidents of restraint and seclusion where the public schools do not have the appropriate data to make that conclusion. Both the GAO and Department of Education, also suggest using the Department of Education’s tip sheet for information on how to report a lack of data.

To read the GAO’s report, click here.

To read the Department of Education’s tip sheet for information on how to report a lack of data, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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