Revealing the state’s restraint records in western Mass. schools

The report of abuse at a Holyoke school has resulted in Massachusetts limiting the use of prone restraints.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - The Massachusetts Executive Office of Education creates regulatory policy for student behavior management and use of physical restraints. These protocols are in place to not only protect children, but the adults who have to intervene in sometimes volatile and dangerous situations.

A December 2015 report revealed a disturbing a pattern of abuse involving special needs students at a Holyoke school. Two months later the state said there was a “systemic failure at the school.” In addition to allegations of slapping and punching special needs students, another issue was the use of prone restraints, according to a Disability Law Center report.

The 22News I-Team requested school records of restraints and complaints for western Massachusetts schools from the state. Find out what 22News I-Team reporter Ryan Walsh found when he reviewed the state’s documents. Watch his full report, Thursday, February 16 on the Springfield CW at 10pm.

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