Legislature Restricts Use of “Seclusion Cells”

Earlier this week, the Oregon Department of Education released a Numbered Memorandum clarifying the restriction on the use of "Seclusion Cells" approved by the Oregon Legislature in the 2013 Session through HB 2756.

http://www.ode.state.or.us/news/announcements/announcement.aspx?id=9328&typeid=4

The bill bans the use of "Seclusion Cells" or specific, self-contained, small enclosures for students needing isolation. However, the bill does not ban the use of seclusion as a practice to help a student regain personal control. The guidance for such practices can be found at:

http://www.ode.state.or.us/opportunities/grants/nclb/title_iv/a_drugfree/6_6draft_guidelines12_tarestraintseclusion-no56.pdf

The legislation can be found at:

http://landru.leg.state.or.us/13reg/measures/hb2700.dir/hb2756.en.html

The ban applies to small, self-contained, usually padded enclosures. These types of structures were supposed to be removed from Oregon schools by September 1st. The elimination of the use of a specific structure puts into focus the importance of an IEP team and parents having a mutual and clear understanding of whether and how seclusion techniques might be applied and under what circumstances. The guidance from ODE is very helpful.

We welcome your thoughts and ideas about this change in Oregon law.

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