MDE Releases Report on Prone Restraint Use
On February 1, 2012, the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) released its report, "The Use of Prone Restraint in Minnesota Schools: August 2011 through January 2012." This report was required as part of 2011 state legislation to allow the continued use of prone restraint for emergency use only in schools until August 2012. The MDE report revealed that school districts had 592 incidents of prone use with roughly 77% of those incidents occuring in intermediate districts. Children with ASD (38%) and emotional behavioral disorder (40%) represented the predominate groups this restraint was used on. There is current legislation (HF 2293 and SF 1917) that will allow prone restraint use for yet another year with specific reporting requirements to the MDE. HF 2293 has an additional requirement for MDE to establish a stakeholder group to develop a plan by February 1, 2013 to reduce the use of all restrictive procedures in schools and to "significantly reduce" prone restraint use. AuSM will continue to monitor this legislation and work to eliminate the use of prone restraint in our schools.