School decides to stop handcuffing kids

Students shackled for misbehaving

JACKSON, Miss. - Public schools in Jackson, Mississippi, are agreeing to stop handcuffing students to poles.

It seems they had been shackling students at an alternative school for things like dress code violations.

A lawsuit filed by a mother whose son was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder also alleged some students were forced to eat lunch while chained to a stair railing and had to shout for help when they needed to use the bathroom.

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According to the settlement, approved by U.S. District Judge Tom Lee, district employees will stop handcuffing students younger than 13, and can only handcuff older students for crimes, and no student may be handcuffed to railings, poles, desks, chairs or other objects.

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The ruling requires the school to change its approach in dealing with emotionally challenged students. The school was ordered to conduct a "climate assessment" that includes students, parents and teachers, as well as a mandate that all teachers be trained to deal with students with emotional and behavioral management problems.

Part of the settlement includes training for staff on better methods of discipline.

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