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2 Va. Schools Blamed for Secluding, Restraining Disabled Students

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File photo of a classroom. (credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of a classroom. (credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education has concluded that two Virginia schools denied students with emotional disabilities the right to an appropriate public education by frequently using seclusion and physical restraint.

In a July 29 letter of findings, the department wrote that it had entered into an agreement with the two public schools in Prince William County to correct the problems. The letter was sent to lawyers who filed a 2012 complaint on behalf of a mother and her minor son, a former student at one of the schools, and other students.

According to the letter, school employees physically restrained students for several minutes at a time. The schools also secluded students in padded areas and prevented them from leaving, the letter said.

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