Rhode Island Scores Relatively Well on Study of Child Restraint

Jun 27, 2014

Rhode Island provides more restrictions on the use of child restraints in schools than either Connecticut or Massachusetts, according to a report from ProPublica and NPR.

The report gives Rhode Island a score of six, compared with three for Connecticut and just two for Massachusetts, which the report found ignored federal recommendations on restraint and seclusion.

According to the study, Rhode Island limits schools to using restraints in emergencies and requires parental notification. The state also prohibits the use of restraints that restrict breathing. However, Rhode Island schools are allowed to use mechanical restraints such as straps and handcuffs. The state also allows students to be put into seclusion, but only in limited cases and with adult supervision.

The report found that schools across the country physically restrained or secluded students more than 267,000 times in 2012, sometimes resulting in student injuries.

The authors caution that the numbers of restraint cases are more than likely vastly underreported in the federal data they used for the study.