In 2013, Carsey released a brief that analyzed rates of restraint and seclusion using a large, nationally representative data set of U.S. school districts. This brief, which analyzes a more comprehensive data set and the most current Civil Rights Data Collection, serves as a follow-up to the pre­vious brief. Authors Douglas Gagnon, Marybeth Mattingly, and Vincent Connelly report that, despite numerous states with revised policies related to seclusion and restraint in schools between 2009 and 2012, trends in the rates of restraint and seclusion of students with a disability in the United States remained relatively consistent between survey years. Low-poverty, low-minority districts are more likely to report high rates of restraint than are high-poverty, high-minority districts, although this trend in the most recent data is less pronounced than the trend found in the 2009−2010 data. In addition, restraint and seclusion are most common in cities and least common in rural places. The authors conclude that future research should examine the factors that lead to the use of restraint and seclusion in some schools, as well as what conditions lead to uptake of alternative approaches to managing challenging student behavior.

Publication Date

Fall 10-28-2014


National Brief No. 78


Durham, N.H.: Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



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