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ERIC Number: ED505313
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-19
Pages: 62
Abstractor: ERIC
Seclusions and Restraints: Selected Cases of Death and Abuse at Public and Private Schools and Treatment Centers. Testimony Before the Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives. GAO-09-719T
Kutz, Gregory D.
US Government Accountability Office
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently testified before the Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives, regarding allegations of death and abuse at residential programs for troubled teens. The document presents the statement of Gregory D. Kutz, Managing Director, Forensic Audits and Special Investigations. Recent reports indicate that vulnerable children are being abused in other settings. One report on the use of restraints and seclusions in schools documented cases where students were pinned to the floor for hours at a time, handcuffed, locked in closets, and subjected to other acts of violence. In some of these cases, this type of abuse resulted in death. Given these reports, the Committee asked GAO to (1) provide an overview of seclusions and restraint laws applicable to children in public and private schools; (2) verify whether allegations of student death and abuse from the use of these methods are widespread; and (3) examine the facts and circumstances surrounding cases where a student died or suffered abuse as a result of being secluded or restrained. GAO reviewed federal and state laws and abuse allegations from advocacy groups, parents, and the media from the past two decades. GAO did not evaluate whether using restraints and seclusions can be beneficial. GAO examined documents related to closed cases, including police and autopsy reports and school policies. GAO also interviewed parents, attorneys, and school officials and conducted searches to determine the current employment status of staff involved in the cases. Summary of State Laws Related to the Use of Restraints and Seclusions in Public and Private Schools is appended. (Contains 2 tables and 17 footnotes.)
US Government Accountability Office. 441 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20548. Tel: 202-512-6000; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: US Government Accountability Office
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A