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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Seclusion in Oregon

Many posts have dealt with restraint and seclusion. In April, Governor John Kitzhaber signed legislation banning "seclusion cells" in Oregon schools.  Portland's KATU-TV reports:
Six state legislators sent a letter to the superintendent and board members of Portland Public Schools on Friday urging that a school within the district comply with a new law prohibiting the use of seclusion cells. 
The seclusion cells in question are at Pioneer School. The district says it thinks its seclusion cells don't fall under the new law and are not outlawed. But the district isn’t completely sure, so it wants the Oregon Department of Education to weigh in before it rips out something taxpayers paid for and, in its experience, serves a useful purpose.
The letter to the district was prompted by a KATU News story Thursday that revealed Pioneer had not yet removed its seclusion cells as required by Sept. 1 and didn't plan on doing so until it received guidance from the state. Additionally, the Oregon Department of Education wasn’t aware that the school was keeping the cells until KATU News told it about it Thursday.
After KATU's story, the school district sent a letter to the state, asking for it to decide what's legal.