Fairfax County schools reviewing restraining and secluding policy

Virginia's largest school district is reviewing arguably one of its most controversial policies - restraining and secluding students.

The assessment comes amid concerns from special education advocates, parents, and community members and, reportedly, several incidents.

The Fairfax County Special Education PTA says students nationwide with disabilities are disproportionately disciplined, restrained, and secluded, and their district is no exception.

Secluding and restraining students is prohibited in Fairfax County Public Schools. However, the district says there are exceptions - such as dangerous situations - that make physical restraint necessary to protect the student or others.

Special education advocates brought their concerns to the district after recent incidents involving students reportedly being put in solitude or restraint.

Superintendent Scott Brabrand says he takes the concerns seriously and in response is starting a complete and thorough evaluation and review of restraint and seclusion guidelines and practices, parental notification and data collection requirements and procedures.

The county's special education PTA President posted on Facebook saying several families and teachers have contacted the group fearful and in pain.

Based on the superintendent's findings, the Board will determine the next steps regarding the district's seclusion and restraint practices.