- Associated Press - Friday, August 5, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky’s education commissioner has ordered public schools to stop using a form of martial-art training to physically restrain students.

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt sent a cease-and-desist letter to school districts on Tuesday, prohibiting staff from using Aikido, The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/2anFGqh) reported.

Dr. Melissa Currie, head of Pediatric Forensic Medicine at the University of Louisville, said her office encountered several cases of injuries, primarily broken bones, resulting from the use of Aikido Control Training in Jefferson County schools, according to the newspaper.

“The majority of restraint injuries we’ve been consulted on are Aikido-based maneuvers,” she said.

Pruitt said the main concern with the training is that it includes prone or supine restraint techniques in which pressure is applied to the body of a person to keep that person from moving.

“We must do all that we can to ensure that our students are treated with the highest level of dignity, respect and care,” Pruitt said in the letter.

County schools spokeswoman Jennifer Brislin said the district voluntarily phased out the use of Aikido before Pruitt’s letter.

Only five districts in the state have had staff members trained in Aikido, but Pruitt sent the letter to all school districts as a precaution.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

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