Prohibit the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

Prohibit the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

Process and Outcome

1.    Identify a current issue that relates to special education.  Then:
a.    Find and read at least two current journal articles (published in 2007 or more recently) on the topic.
b.    Prepare a short description of the issue and identify any key controversies or areas of disagreement.
c.    Write a short statement regarding the policy you want to analyze.  For example, the issue might be report card grading of students with disabilities.  The policy you want to examine is placing notations on report cards to indicate if the student’s program involves content modifications.    Or, the issue might be determining birthday cut offs for grade assignments, and the policy would be shifting to a non-graded elementary school model where students are assigned to classes based on developmental level and need rather than solely by age.

The policy you choose to analyze does not have to be something currently in place or currently being considered.  It can be your own idea, something unusual . . . perhaps something you always thought about but never dared mention out loud!  Something you’ve read about or heard about from someone in another district.  Feel free to be creative, but pick something you truly believe would be a good idea.

2.    Make a list of the key stakeholders – individuals, groups, or organizations -that would be impacted in some way if this policy was to be implemented. Then, for each stakeholder or group, consider the stakeholders’ positions, their interests, and assess the policy’s consequences for each group. Identify what they would have to GAIN and what they would have to LOSE if the policy was implemented.  This is the kind of process that a group might engage in before making a final determination on a policy decision.  Or, if a decision has already been made (as we are assuming), this process might be used to assist in determining how to go public with it or how to generate more support for it.  For example, if you were looking to convince people to vote for a tax override to build a new school, this kind of analysis could help.

If, as you seek to determine these positives and negatives, you have questions or have qualifying statements, these can go in the final column.    You are not required to use the format illustrated below – just a suggestion.  This is a partial or incomplete analysis.

ISSUE:  Inclusion of students with disabilities in general education classrooms.

POLICY: Within the next five years, the school district will return at least 20% of students in out-of-district placements to local schools.

Stakeholder    POSITIVES:  What does group/individual have to GAIN1  with this policy?    NEGATIVES:  What does group/individual have to LOSE  by this policy?    Comments/
Students with disabilities in outside placements    –    Greater opportunities to interact with peers from local community
–    Decreased time spent being transported
–    Being held to higher expectations with greater focus on general curriculum
–        –    Reduced opportunity to interact with peers who have  similar needs
–    Curriculum and strategies may not be targeted as specifically to unique needs
Students with disabilities already within district    –  Resources currently going out of district will stay in-district and benefit all students     – Focus on students with more significant needs may decrease currently available resources
Typical students  in district    – Resources currently going out of district will stay in-district and benefit all students
– Opportunities to learn about greater human diversity and interact with individuals with different needs and abilities     – Attention and resources will be shifted to students with disabilities in school

Parents of students in outside placements    – Positive feedback from other parents and neighbors who see that their children no longer going out of district to expensive private placements     –    Reduced specialized supports for families3
–    Negative feedback from other parents uncertain of impact students will have on school – taking time and attention away from typical students
The reaction of other parents is likely to be dependent on the needs and characteristics of the returning students (e.g., behavior challenges vs. physical disabilities).
Parents of typical students
School Administrators    – Resources currently going out of district will stay in-district and be available to benefit all students
– Possibility to create inclusive school consistent with “best practices” and resulting positive public relations opportunity    – Greater challenges associated with serving more diverse school population

General Education Teachers    –    With greater resources remaining in the district, there will be additional support services available
–        –    Greater demands for collaboration with related services providers

Special Education Teachers
Parents of typical students

Taxpayers      – Saving associated with out-of-district tuition and transportation costs
Local employers    – Increased expectations on students with significant disabilities expanded workforce    –

3.  Using the analysis – OK, so now that you’ve created this table and tried to consider the perspectives of key stakeholder, what do you do next?  You are going to use the Stakeholder Mapping illustrated on the website dealing with improving food security information systems (  You are going to review the table already created and organize stakeholders according to their interest and power.  The following table is reproduced from this website.  Interest is a measure of the impact the policy change is likely to have on the group.  Power is a measure of the influence this group can have over the policy or project, AND their ability to support or block the proposed policy change.
Power    HIGH


Engage Closely & Influence Activity

Monitor (minimum effort)

Keep Informed

So go back to your stakeholder list, and review the policy you are proposing.  Which stakeholder groups would fall into which block?  That is, which groups have high versus low interest?  And which ones have the power to positively or negatively influence the policy change?

•    I want you to place one or two stakeholder groups in each of the four blocks.
•    For each group, go back and consider the GAIN and LOSE table.  Then identify what you will do to communicate and/or influence these groups to ensure that your proposed policy change is implemented.

4. Reflection ¬– Once you are done, I want you to reflect on both the process of doing the stakeholder analysis and the product you are submitting.  For example, what do you feel good about, and which portions do you feel uncertain about?  YES, I realize that for many of you, this assignment falls outside of your comfort zone. Thank you for persevering and please believe that I would not have constructed the assignment if I did not truly believe it would be useful to you!

Brugha, R. &  Varvasovszky, Z. (2000a). Stakeholder analysis: a review. Health Policy and Planning, 15(3), 239.  Retrieved June 3, 2009, from ProQuest Health Management database. (Document ID: 373582741).

Brugha, R. &  Varvasovszky, Z.  (2000b). How to do (or not to do). . . A stakeholder analysis, 15(3), 338.  Retrieved May 20, 2009, from ProQuest Health Management database. (Document ID: 373582741).

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