Christine Riege held he son Gary's arms as they demonstrated what was the most common restraint he was put in at school as a young child. On the table in front of them were piles of documents of the restraints. They were at their home in Cottage Grove, Minn. on March 22, 2013.
The Minnesota Legislature recently decided, with the Star Tribune’s editorial support, to study the use of prone restraint on children with disabilities in schools for a few more years (“No easy answers for disruptive students,” May 8, 2013). This kind of restraint involves holding someone face down to the ground in a manner that may make it impossible to breathe. The study is only on the amount of use, not about the effectiveness. Twenty states have outlawed this restraint, and the U.S. Department of Education has called for an outright ban. Last year a federal judge entered an order prohibiting the use of prone restraint on adults in our state hospitals. Now, Minneapolis will pay more than $3 million to a family of a mentally ill man who died after a struggle with police in which prone restraint was used by officers (“Family awarded $3M in man’s death,” May 25). Our children would be better served had our Legislature banned the use of the restraint and spent our tax dollars training teachers on safer techniques.
DONALD R. McNEIL, Burnsville
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