Statement on Lawsuit Filed October 8
“FCPS takes its responsibilities to its students very seriously. Under the direction of the School Board, we initiated a thorough and independent review of restraint and seclusion guidelines, provided additional behavior intervention teachers, additional training for staff, and appointed a new ombudsman for special education. We also created a new Special Education Task Force to look at best practices in restraint and seclusion. We acknowledge that the use of restraint and seclusion is an especially sensitive and challenging issue and is appropriate only when less restrictive alternatives fail. We will continue to base our procedures and practices on that guiding principle,” said Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand.
- Currently, more than 27,000 students in FCPS receive special education services.
- The School Board believes that its policies and practices with respect to restraint and seclusion are proper under all relevant laws.
- Where needed as a last resort for the protection of the student or the safety of others around the student, restraint or seclusion is lawfully permitted.
- FCPS takes its responsibilities to ALL FCPS students very seriously.
- The use of restraint and seclusion is an especially sensitive and challenging issue, but there are times when this practice is appropriate and necessary.
- In Spring 2019, the Fairfax County School Board directed the Superintendent to begin a complete, thorough and independent review of restraint and seclusion guidelines and practices, including parental notification, data collection and staff training.
- The School Board also provided additional funding for new Behavior Intervention Teacher positions and additional training for special education teachers, administrators, counselors, instructional assistants, social workers, psychologists, and related service providers. In August 2019, FCPS appointed a new assistant ombudsman dedicated solely to the FCPS special education program who is responsible for supporting parents who have special education concerns.
- A Special Education Community Task Force, comprised of parents, community members, FCPS staff, and non-profit organizations, was formed in the summer of 2019 to focus on researching and identifying best practices in the field and to advise on the development of policy and regulation. That work has been underway.