On the heals of a government report exposing abusive restraint and seclusion practices used with students who have disabilities, White House officials met Tuesday with representatives of approximately 40 organizations to discuss the issue.

The meeting with community advocates and education professionals was planned prior to the release of a Government Accountability Office report last week at a hearing of the House Education and Labor Committee. The report indicated that thousands of students are secluded or restrained in this country’s public and private schools each year, including hundreds of cases where the techniques are allegedly abusive or cause death.

“The White House is very concerned about the restraint and seclusion issue, especially the deaths and serious injuries that have taken place across the country. We are committed to working with the secretary of education, Congress and the community to explore solutions to this issue,” a senior White House official told Disability Scoop, adding that the meeting Tuesday was “very productive.”

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Previous stories on this topic:

Education Secretary Commits To Seclusion, Restraint Reforms (May 20, 2009)

Government Report Confirms Abusive Seclusion, Restraint (May 19, 2009)