New Bill Would Ban Restraint, Seclusion In Michigan Schools

Legislation introduced in Lansing on Tuesday would ban the use of seclusion and restraint on students in Michigan schools.

A task force headed by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley made recommendations included in the bill.

It does have an exception for emergency situations. 

Supporters say it will make for a safer and more inclusive learning environment especially for students with special needs. 

9&10’s David Lyden dug deeper into the bill and what local educators are saying about this new legislation.

Local superintendents we spoke to Tuesday say it will reinforce school policies but worry this bill wouldn’t allow for much flexibility.

“Every district and ISD would understand that the law required restrictions on seclusion and restraint.”

Legislation introduced in Lansing Tuesday would ban the use of restraint and seclusion of students when they have outbursts in class. Something that’s been policy across the state for years.

“We are charged with educating students and maintaining their care welfare safety in the school environment and there are times we hope rare but there are times when students act in a way that is dangerous to themselves and to others.” Says Asst. Superintendent for special education, Carol Greilick

Local educators, like Carol Greilick with TBA ISD say sometimes students and those with special needs have times where they need to calm down. And worry flexibility in handling those situations could go away

“In a previous version one of the limitation was that a student could not be confined in a room outside the usual teaching environment and I don’t know what the usual teaching environment means in the context of the bill.” Says Greilick

Dr. Keith with Kingsley schools, says the bill is a good way to keep students safe, but feel more work still needs to be done.

“Anytime this type of legislation though I think it’s very well intended to deal with some of those extreme circumstances we want to make sure that it still has an element of common sense and allows principals and teachers to be able to effectively deal with kids in the classroom.” Says Kingsley Superintendent, Dr. Keith Smith.

The bill will now start working its way through the legislature.