Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - July 20, 2018.  


Trump now wants Putin to visit the White House this fall; Also on the Friday rundown: health insurance rates to rise by almost 9 percent in California; and as the climate crises reaches “Zero Hour” young people take a stand.

Daily Newscasts

Goal: Fewer Restraints, Cop Calls at Holyoke School

Police should be called to Peck School in Holyoke less often as the result of a settlement with the school district that also calls for reducing the use of restraints on students with disabilities. (Jeff Joniec)
Police should be called to Peck School in Holyoke less often as the result of a settlement with the school district that also calls for reducing the use of restraints on students with disabilities. (Jeff Joniec)
February 8, 2016

HOLYOKE, Mass. - It is an agreement that should mean fewer students ending up in restraints and fewer cops being called to respond to discipline issues at Peck School in Holyoke.

Stanley Eichner is litigation director for the Disability Law Center, which launched an investigation into discipline practices concerning students with disabilities. He says a settlement agreement finalized last week should mean fewer kids end up being restrained when they act out at Peck School.

"This does not prohibit restraints totally," he says. "But between training and new protocols, we will look to make sure that they only use them when they are absolutely necessary."

The settlement between the Disability Law Center, Holyoke Public Schools and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education calls for the Law Center to monitor the use of restraints and other disciplinary practices for the next year.

Eichner says another goal of the agreement is to reduce the number of times police get called to the school. He says they will be monitoring the frequency and reasons for each call to the police.

"One of the problems that we had identified in our report was basically the criminalization of discipline," says Eichner. "So that too often, it was the case that youngsters were arrested by police rather than being disciplined in the school."

Eichner says he is concerned these restraint problems are occurring at both private and public schools across the state, and he thinks more needs to be done to restrict the practice. He says prone restraints are especially dangerous, and believes Massachusetts should follow the lead of other states in outlawing their use.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA