Justice Department Secures Settlement with Iowa School District Concerning Discriminatory Seclusion and Restraint Practices | OPA | Department of Justice (repeatedly secluded and restrained students with disabilities as early as kindergarten)

The department’s investigation found that the school district inappropriately and repeatedly secluded and restrained students with disabilities as early as kindergarten in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The department concluded that instead of meeting the needs of students with disabilities that affect their behavior, the school district subdued them through unnecessary restraints and improper confinement alone in small seclusion rooms, sometimes multiple times in one day and often for excessive periods of time. As a result of these practices, some students lost hundreds of hours of instructional time. The investigation also found that the school district did not end seclusion where students showed signs of crisis or trauma, or when there was no longer any threat of harm. Under the settlement agreement, the Cedar Rapids Community School District has voluntarily agreed to end the use of seclusion, reform its restraint practices, and improve its staff training on anticipating, appropriately addressing and de-escalating students’ disability-related behavior through appropriate behavioral interventions. Source: Justice Department Secures Settlement with Iowa School District Concerning Discriminatory Seclusion and Restraint Practices | OPA | Department of Justice