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Sharon Okada, MCT/Sacramento Bee

Letter of the Day (May 4): Students with disabilities

  • May 3, 2013 - 6:27 PM

A recent article highlighted significant issues that students with disabilities and our schools face when using disciplinary procedures (“Disabled students face dangerous discipline,” April 28).

In 2009, we and other disability advocates worked to pass legislation to control restrictive-discipline procedures. The measure helped to eliminate the use of prone restraint in all but a few school districts.

The Minnesota Department of Education also has a curriculum called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). More than 370 schools have received the training, which lays a foundation for avoiding the harmful practices described in the article.

Last fall, a task force recommended steps toward eliminating the prone restraint and increasing training on positive practices. Legislation drafted this year included that recommendation, but not the funding needed.

Students with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education and to be treated in ways that promote their learning. We will continue to work to eliminate the use of prone restraints.

STEVE LARSON, Shoreview

 

The writer is senior policy director for The Arc Minnesota.

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