JCPS school board discusses solutions to ongoing restraint and s - WDRB 41 Louisville News

JCPS school board discusses solutions to ongoing restraint and seclusion issues

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A major item on the JCPS Board Meeting agenda Tuesday was finding a solution to a major problem within the district. 

An internal audit found 4,229 unreported incidents of restraint and seclusion.

"In some ways, we got into this pickle because nobody was noticing we were reporting 174 and with 100,000 students, we couldn't possibly be right," said school board member David Jones Jr. 

Recommendations to fix this “culture of silence” included changing guidelines on reporting restraints, using one uniform computer system, training on preventing and defusing student disagreements before they escalate and training on how to properly restrain and confine a student to minimize harm.

"Management is taking the right response to fix this situation," internal auditor Jim Tencza said. "Their responses were great, and I think the steps they're taking are really going to help the reporting of information, but also help training the teachers."

All these things will now be monitored on a monthly basis, instead of once a year. 

"Reviewing it monthly, looking at trends, looking at comparisons to national averages, comparing to other schools and scrutinizing that, making sure it's properly captured ... I think that will go a long way," Tencza said.

Most importantly, the audit recommends changing the culture of silence within the district. Once the problem is identified, that's when it can start to be solved. 

"One of the things that we can't do is demonize restraints, because that's how we keep kids from being hurt," school board member Linda Duncan said. 

"When we demonize them, that's why people don't want to report them. No one wants to say what the truth is."

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