To the Editor,
I read the article on restrain and seclusion in the Harwood Unified Union School District in the September 21 issue of The Valley Reporter.
I applaud finding new and perhaps better ways of dealing with unruly students in a more efficient and productive manner, which minimizes harm to the student and others. There was mention of special needs students, so it wasn’t clear to me whether or not the new policies were restricted to them or across the board. Special needs students would require their own set of rules and policies based on the complexities of those needs.
As for the mainstream students, I think it necessary to be able to use restrictive actions when staff cannot de-escalate a situation verbally. I’m not talking about the punishment phase, but rather real time scenes where firm action is required not only to protect others but the perpetrator as well until the activity is under control. Physicality in these situations is something we want to avoid, but reality tells us that there comes a time when it must be introduced quickly and definitively.
There is much going on in the minds of students, given hormonal changes, societal pressures, drugs, mass shootings, home life, constant negativity in the media and God only knows what else! When a person (students in this case) acts out, words seldom register in terms of stoppage. Firm action must follow to control the situation and then dealing with the origin of the problems can begin. I’m hoping that the school district is not moving towards a liberal policy of being more accepting of bad or dangerous behavior or the “time out” agenda.
South Carolina and formerly from Waitsfield.