KHQ Investigates: Parents concerned with school discipline pract - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ Investigates: Parents concerned with school discipline practices

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Erin Carden was rushing to her son’s school to prevent what she knew her 15-year-old was capable of doing.

“When I arrived he was face down in the foyer hitting his head against the cement over, and over, and over,” said Carden. “He was screaming that he wanted to kill himself.”

The chilling account happened after Carden’s son, who is autistic, was restrained for acting up in class.

“They had to drag him because he was being so combative,” said Carden. “The resource officer used a pressure hold on him to subdue him. He swung at the officer and hit her neck.”

As Carden shared this story with fellow parents, teachers, and board members at the Spokane Public Schools board meeting, she stood by herself.

But she is not alone.

Many parents at SPS are worried about controversial discipline practices at school called restraint and isolation.

Isolation means secluding a student to a room until they calm down, while restraint happens when a school staff member (usually a School Resource Officer) has to physically intervene to control the student. This practice usually means teachers or SROs have to place children in arm locks or hold them on the ground, and the state wants it to stop.

Spokane County Public Defender, Megan Manlove, says restraint and isolation often escalates an already unstable situation.

“The teacher told him [student] to get out of the desk and he refused,” said Manlove. “Eventually an SRO was called in and that child was yanked out of a desk and his head was actually slammed onto a table.”

Manlove handles juvenile cases and says she sees cases like this come across her desk all the time.

“Whether the schools are actually following that law and implementing those policies is really questionable based on what I see come across me desk,” said Manlove.

The law Manlove is talking about is SHB 1240. It passed in 2015 and was implemented at the start of the last school semester with a goal aimed at ending the use of isolation and restraint in schools.

The law states: “The legislation finds that there is no educational or therapeutic benefit to children from physically restraining or isolating them as part of their public school programs when no necessary for immediate safety.”

The law requires school districts to change their policies so staff cannot use restraint or isolation unless a “student’s behavior poses and imminent likelihood of serious harm to that student or another person.”

SPS has changed its policy, but numbers acquired through a public information request shows the district is using restraint and isolation more than any other in the state.

Data shows that SPS used isolation and restraint 3,515 times in the 2014-15 school year. To compare, the Central Valley School District used restraint and isolation 331 times that same school year, and the Tacoma School District used it 436 times the year before.

During the 2014-15 school year, the West Valley and Mead School Districts used restraint and isolation less than 100 times. There was no data available for the East Valley School District.

Starting January 1, 2016, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction requires that all school districts report the use of restraint and isolation at the end of each school year.

SPS has scheduled training for School Resource Officers starting on August 17. The district has not said if the use of restraint and isolation will be included in that training, however they will be learning and reviewing how to recognize and respond to youth with mental health issues.

SPS has the most special needs students in the state of Washington, but attorneys and parents are concerned that school staff are using restraint and isolation beyond what it’s intended for.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Woman prevents girl's kidnapping by pretending to be her mother

    Woman prevents girl's kidnapping by pretending to be her mother

    Saturday, February 24 2018 5:24 PM EST2018-02-24 22:24:02 GMT
    Santa Ana Police DepartmentSanta Ana Police Department
    Santa Ana Police DepartmentSanta Ana Police Department

    SANTA ANA, Calif. - A woman was arrested Wednesday after she allegedly tried to kidnap a 12-year-old girl who was on her way to school in Santa Ana, California. Police are crediting another woman with preventing it from happening.  KTLA reports that Amy Martinez was on her way to Lathrop Intermediate School when she was confronted by a woman who was described as homeless. "She just came up to me and went like this," Amy said, simulating a bear-hug.

    >>

    SANTA ANA, Calif. - A woman was arrested Wednesday after she allegedly tried to kidnap a 12-year-old girl who was on her way to school in Santa Ana, California. Police are crediting another woman with preventing it from happening.  KTLA reports that Amy Martinez was on her way to Lathrop Intermediate School when she was confronted by a woman who was described as homeless. "She just came up to me and went like this," Amy said, simulating a bear-hug.

    >>
  • Surgical team removes 4 pound brain tumor from man in Mumbai

    Surgical team removes 4 pound brain tumor from man in Mumbai

    Saturday, February 24 2018 4:53 PM EST2018-02-24 21:53:46 GMT
    NBC NewsNBC News
    NBC NewsNBC News

    MUMBAI - A surgical team in India successfully removed a massive brain tumor from a man Thursday, weighing over 4 pounds. It was a lengthy, nearly seven-hour procedure and doctors believe it could be the heaviest ever recorded.  The tumor, which protruded from the top of the man's skull, was so large that it seemed “like a head on top of another head,” Trimurti Nadkarni, head of the neurosurgery department at Nair Hospital, told the Indian Express.

    >>

    MUMBAI - A surgical team in India successfully removed a massive brain tumor from a man Thursday, weighing over 4 pounds. It was a lengthy, nearly seven-hour procedure and doctors believe it could be the heaviest ever recorded.  The tumor, which protruded from the top of the man's skull, was so large that it seemed “like a head on top of another head,” Trimurti Nadkarni, head of the neurosurgery department at Nair Hospital, told the Indian Express.

    >>
  • Team USA skier Gus Kenworthy rescues puppy from Korean dog meat farm

    Team USA skier Gus Kenworthy rescues puppy from Korean dog meat farm

    Saturday, February 24 2018 11:49 PM EST2018-02-25 04:49:26 GMT
    Courtesy @guskenworthyCourtesy @guskenworthy

    PYEONGCHANG, South Korea - Team USA’s Gus Kenworthy is leaving the Winter Olympics with a new rescue pet, once again. In 2014, the freestyle skier went through the long process of bringing two puppies he found near Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia, back home to America.  In a lengthy Instagram post, Kenworthy announced Friday that he and his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas, visited one of South Korea’s 17,000 dog meat 

    >>

    PYEONGCHANG, South Korea - Team USA’s Gus Kenworthy is leaving the Winter Olympics with a new rescue pet, once again. In 2014, the freestyle skier went through the long process of bringing two puppies he found near Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia, back home to America.  In a lengthy Instagram post, Kenworthy announced Friday that he and his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas, visited one of South Korea’s 17,000 dog meat 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Coast Guard rescues 68-year-old hiker after fall from Clallam County waterfall

    Coast Guard rescues 68-year-old hiker after fall from Clallam County waterfall

    Saturday, February 24 2018 11:51 PM EST2018-02-25 04:51:50 GMT

    SEATTLE, Wash. - A Coast Guard aircrew medevaced a 68-year-old hiker who suffered reportedly non-life threatening shoulder and back injuries after he fell from the Hoko Waterfall in Clallam County, Saturday. The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, from Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles, safely transported the hiker to the air station where he was transferred to waiting emergency medical service personnel, who 

    >>

    SEATTLE, Wash. - A Coast Guard aircrew medevaced a 68-year-old hiker who suffered reportedly non-life threatening shoulder and back injuries after he fell from the Hoko Waterfall in Clallam County, Saturday. The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, from Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles, safely transported the hiker to the air station where he was transferred to waiting emergency medical service personnel, who 

    >>
  • Team USA skier Gus Kenworthy rescues puppy from Korean dog meat farm

    Team USA skier Gus Kenworthy rescues puppy from Korean dog meat farm

    Saturday, February 24 2018 11:49 PM EST2018-02-25 04:49:26 GMT
    Courtesy @guskenworthyCourtesy @guskenworthy

    PYEONGCHANG, South Korea - Team USA’s Gus Kenworthy is leaving the Winter Olympics with a new rescue pet, once again. In 2014, the freestyle skier went through the long process of bringing two puppies he found near Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia, back home to America.  In a lengthy Instagram post, Kenworthy announced Friday that he and his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas, visited one of South Korea’s 17,000 dog meat 

    >>

    PYEONGCHANG, South Korea - Team USA’s Gus Kenworthy is leaving the Winter Olympics with a new rescue pet, once again. In 2014, the freestyle skier went through the long process of bringing two puppies he found near Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia, back home to America.  In a lengthy Instagram post, Kenworthy announced Friday that he and his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas, visited one of South Korea’s 17,000 dog meat 

    >>
  • World-famous evangelist Billy Graham's body travels 130 miles in procession to his hometown

    World-famous evangelist Billy Graham's body travels 130 miles in procession to his hometown

    Saturday, February 24 2018 10:54 PM EST2018-02-25 03:54:00 GMT

    ASHEVILLE, N.C.  (AP) - The Latest on the procession for the Rev. Billy Graham (all times local):  3:30 p.m. The body of the Rev. Billy Graham has reached the library bearing his name, ending a journey which took him down North Carolina roads filled with mourners paying their final respects.  The procession reached the Billy Graham Library literally four hours after it left the training center to head for Charlotte, where the evangelist was born. 

    >>

    ASHEVILLE, N.C.  (AP) - The Latest on the procession for the Rev. Billy Graham (all times local):  3:30 p.m. The body of the Rev. Billy Graham has reached the library bearing his name, ending a journey which took him down North Carolina roads filled with mourners paying their final respects.  The procession reached the Billy Graham Library literally four hours after it left the training center to head for Charlotte, where the evangelist was born. 

    >>