When students have behavior problems at one school in Maine, staff take a hands-off approach, forgoing restraint and seclusion in nearly all cases, and they say it works.

Restraint is employed at The Real School in Falmouth, Maine if students are in danger of hurting themselves or others, but it is avoided otherwise. Instead of being held down, a student who’s bolting is more likely to be offered their coat to keep warm outdoors, school officials say.

The approach is part of the school’s effort to teach kids to take responsibility for their actions — whether good or bad — and promote appropriate coping skills. Key to this effort are the teachers who work to develop solid relationships with students, exuding patience in an effort to give kids a positive feeling about school.

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Students appear to be responding. “Here I take responsibility for my own actions. The teachers here aren’t looking to get you into trouble. They’re looking more for stuff students do right,” one teenager at the school told the Bangor (Maine) Daily News. To read more click here.