Mass. updating policies on the use of restraint at public schools

School staff will now be required to monitor students who are in a "time out"

Photo: Thinkstock

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – New rules that’ll limit how children can be physically restrained at public schools will take effect this week. The new rules are set to go into effect January 1st.

This comes after the law center issued a report that alleges students were abused here at the Peck School in Holyoke. The Hampden County District Attorney’s office has launched their own investigation into that alleged abuse that was made public earlier this month.

Now, the state’s updating their policies on the use of restraint at public schools for the first time in nearly 15 years.

The Boston Globe is reporting that the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved the new regulations last year.

The rules will ban the use of devices and medication used to subdue students, and limit how administrators can physically restrain unruly students.

School staff will now be required to monitor students who are in a “time out”, and principals will be have to approve any “time outs” that last longer than 30 minutes, and any restraints that last longer than 20 minutes.

The guidelines for when students can be physically restrained will also change.

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