The state Board of Education on Thursday approved a regulation restricting the use of restraint or seclusion of students behaving inappropriately in public schools.
The regulation, which could go into effect for the 2013-14 school year, said public school officials cannot use restraint and seclusion except when a child's behavior poses "imminent danger of serious physical harm" to the child or others.
Lisa Gross, education department spokeswoman, said Kentucky has previously had no rules on restraint or seclusion of students. The regulation will bring the state into compliance with federal guidelines, she said.
Kentucky's lack of regulation had led to concern from state education officials, advocates and parents such as Katie Bentley, who told board members that her son who has disabilities has been too anxious to attend school for three years because a teacher restrained him.
The regulation will require school districts to report incidents of seclusion and restraint to the state education department and report certain serious incidents to law enforcement. Parents would have to be notified when restraint or seclusion was used...
"The regulation should allow a student to be carried into a room for seclusion purposes when the student is causing significant disruption, such as when a student removes his/her clothing," a letter to the Board from Bill Scott, executive director of the Kentucky School Boards Association said.
After the board meeting, Scott said, "We want to seek further clarification" on some changes to the regulation before taking a position.
[Fayette Superintendent Tom Shelton] said, "I'm basically in agreement with the concept" of a regulation on restraint and seclusion.