Schools to be told how to restrain children

Stuff 5 May 2015
A Wellington school principal admits he’s physically wrestled out-of-control teenagers in the past and says he wouldn’t want new restraint and time-out guidelines to stop him from doing it again.
The Ministry of Education is writing up guidelines for schools to help deal with students who need to be secluded when their aggression gets out of hand.
The move comes on the back of an incident in December when a 13-year-old boy attending a special school was put in a time-out room and his parents complained.
An investigation revealed the safe room was inadequate and was subsequently closed and stated if a safe room was going to be used the school must have written parent permission.
“We decided that it would be timely to look more widely at whether more guidance was needed for schools and have accordingly set up an advisory group from across the sector to assist in its development,” ministry head of sector enablement Katrina Casey said.
Naenae College principal John Russell said he’s stepped “beyond the law” a number of times and recalled one former student he regularly had to “hold down” until he’d calmed down.

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