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U.S. Schools Underreport How Often Students Are Restrained or Secluded, Watchdog Says

When students are believed to be a danger to themselves or others, they’re sometimes restrained in school, or isolated in a separate room. These practices, known as restraint and seclusion, are supposed to be a last resort, and they disproportionately affect boys and students with disabilities or special needs.

In the past, government officials have said public schools rarely use these behavior management methods — but now, those same officials aren’t so sure. A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), a federal watchdog, questions the quality of the data the U.S. Department of Education collects on this issue.

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