Feds Offer Schools Guidance on Restraint, Seclusion
Before leaving office, the Obama administration is releasing a flurry of guidance related to the rights of students with disabilities in the nation’s schools. The U.S. Department of Education is weighing in on everything from restraint and seclusion to charter schools in a series of “Dear Colleague” letters and other resources distributed to educators just before the end of the year.
In the correspondence, the agency outlines limitations on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools warning that the practices could be discriminatory. A separate letter addresses the rights of those with disabilities applying to or attending charter schools and specifies that children retain their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act in such environments.
At the same time, a guide for parents and educators also issued by the Education Department details obligations that school districts have under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. “These guidance documents share information with our full school communities — educators, parents and students — about important educational rights, including school obligations to identify, evaluate and serve students with disabilities,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, the Education Department’s assistant secretary for civil rights.
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.