Cedar Rapids Schools gives update on DOJ settlement

Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 7:09 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Last year, the Cedar Rapids Community school district and Department of Justice announced they’d reached a settlement after an investigation from the department found students with disabilities in the district were inappropriately and repeatedly secluded and restrained.

Monday, the district gave its first update on the changes as part of the agreement.

In the settlement, there was a list of requirements the district had to follow. Those requirements were to stop what the Department of Justice called discriminatory and abusive seclusion and restraint practices against students with disabilities.

Those included ending the use of seclusion rooms, which are rooms allowing school staff to physically restrain students or place them in a room alone during a violent outburst to protect the student and others.

The district said one of the key policy changes is crisis prevention.

“We know that crisis prevention is a lot better than intervention. The key to the settlement agreement really is about crisis prevention, and that what we’re really trying to do is prevent crisis from happening in our schools,” said Lisa Glenn, Special Services Executive Director.

As part of the agreement, the board will give updates on the policy changes twice a year.