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Report examines restraints, seclusion in schools

- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Senate committee report suggests Minnesota parents have little legal recourse if their children are restrained or secluded in schools.

The report released Wednesday by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee says there were 22,000 uses of seclusion and restraint on more than 2,500 special education students in Minnesota in the last year, but each year, only one or two claims go to trial.

The report highlights one case in which an 8-year-old girl at Jefferson Elementary in Willmar was secluded 44 times in one school year. The mother transferred her to a private school, then sued - but the claim was dismissed after the court said it was irrelevant because the girl transferred.

Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard says he doesn't think the Willmar case was an appropriate example for the Senate report.

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