Many school districts across the state have policies in place on when and how to restrain a student or send that student into seclusion, but some are concerned the practice is being over used and in some cases abused with kids who have autism.
“They’re not trained on how to handle him because he hits,” said Mary Joe Woelfel.
Woelfel says her son Leo, who has autism, has to go into seclusion sometimes to calm down, but she says Leo is non verbal and can’t tell her if something’s wrong, and there are times she’s concerned about what’s happening at his school.
“He came home with a bruise on his face, he had a bruise on his leg I said what happened,?” said Woelfel.
A new bill would require state regulations when it comes to restraining and sending students into seclusion, including training, reporting, and notification requirements, but there are some concerns.
“We’re more concerned with this kind of overall blanket effect on all teachers and all schools and what kind of effect it would have,” said Meg Gruber with the Virginia Education Association.
Gruber says she supports keeping students safe but worries about liability if certain requirements are put on teachers.
“If you haven’t had the training are we going to be told as teachers well don’t break up the fight cause you haven’t been trained yet.”
Meanwhile Woelfel says something needs to be done to protect kids, especially those with autism.
“There’s going to be more Leos coming up. What are you going to do with all of them?” said Woelfel.