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Restraint and Seclusion in CT, New Haven Superintendent, Forum on Right to Read at the LOB

The Use of Restraint and Seclusion in CT Public Schools

The past week has seen a lot of coverage on restraint and seclusion (R/S) practices in Connecticut public schools, which disproportionately impact black students. In October 2022, Hearst CT Media investigated the use of physical force on young children in this state: a 2015 law allows for restraints, seclusion, and confinement only when there are imminent threats of injury to students or others, but federal data show that the practices are used tens of thousands of times annually in Connecticut.

On Wednesday, during a marathon public hearing on myriad bills, the Education Committee listened to many parents and advocates regarding SB 1200—a bill on special education that would replace seclusion with "time outs" and further limit physical restraints. Child Advocate Sarah Eagan's testimony indicates that R/S interventions, "cause trauma and injury and interfere with the development of therapeutic relationships,” and parents described how these controversial practices have harmed their children and families. Yesterday, a News Times story reported that the Brookfield Public School district is already considering a new policy to limit R/S, update protocols regarding their use, and prohibit employees from using physical restraint on a student without special training. 2019-20 data from the Connecticut State Department of Education's Annual Report on the Use of R/S show that the district had 83 such-incidents.

New Haven Superintendent

On Monday, New Haven Public Schools announced that it had three finalists for the district's superintendent role. Current Superintendent Iline Tracey is set to retire at the end of this school year. According to the New Haven Independent's article, Madeline Negrón—former director of instruction under then-Superintendent Carol Birks—is rumored to be the favorite. The other two candidates are Viviana Conner, currently assistant superintendent of instructional leadership and school improvement, and Warren Moran, chief academic officer of Indianapolis Public Schools.

Join Us Next Wednesday: Right to Read Series at the LOB

On Wednesday, March 29th, Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity will host a legislative forum called “Right to Read Series: Implementation and District Transformation.” The event highlights the work underway in the state and public school districts that have embraced implementation of the landmark early literacy legislation. It will feature:

  • Senator Pat Billie Miller, Chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and Sponsor of the Right to Read legislation;

  • Dr. Melissa Hickey, Director of the Center for Literacy Research and Reading Success;

  • New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker; and

  • More!

It’s just one week away, so don’t forget to register here!


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