Montgomery County among school systems with highest rate of isolating students

Montgomery County Public Schools have among the highest incidents in the nation of placing misbehaving students in isolation rooms. But a federal report concedes it’s impossible to know the prevalence of restraint and seclusion in schools because many school systems don’t keep track.

Montgomery County Public Schools reported to the Department of Education 723 cases of secluding misbehaving students, most often special education students, in the 2017-2018 school year, Bethesda Magazine reports

The magazine says the number of such incidents in recent years in Montgomery County Public Schools are the second highest among the nation’s 30 largest school districts.

The county school system says it isolates students only in emergency situations to protect the student or others.

The county reported 120 incidents of seclusion and 332 incidents of physical restraint in the 2015-2016 school year.

According to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the data does not reflect all incidents of restraint and seclusion in schools, as many school districts had incidents they did not report, incidents they were unable to report or incidents in which they were not collecting the data.

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